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DOH: Nurse from Saudi returns to PHL positive with MERS-CoV

Posted On 2014 Sep 04
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Hundreds of nurses arrive at the Araneta coliseum in Manila, 02 October 2007 to attend official oath taking ceremonies after passing the June 2007 government licensure examination, where 31,275 successful examinees from the more than 64,000 passed the tests conducted nationwide. Last year's scandal tainted examination resulted in the massive retake for examinees to qualify for US Visa. Filipino nurses are in high demand in the US.  AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Hundreds of nurses arrive at the Araneta coliseum in Manila, 02 October 2007 to attend official oath taking ceremonies after passing the June 2007 government licensure examination, where 31,275 successful examinees from the more than 64,000 passed the tests conducted nationwide. Last year’s scandal tainted examination resulted in the massive retake for examinees to qualify for US Visa. Filipino nurses are in high demand in the US. AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Department of Health said in a press briefing Wednesday that a Filipina nurse who has returned to the country from Saudi Arabia has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome- Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that the nurse tested positive for MERS-CoV in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The nurse arrived in the country last August 29 through Saudi Airlines Flight SV870. She also boarded Cebu Pacific flight SJ997 to General Santos.

The nurse is currently confined at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City for confirmatory tests.

Despite this recorded case, Ona maintained that the Philippines is MERS-CoV free.

The DOH said that it is now monitoring 240 passengers of Saudi Airlines and almost 100 passengers of Cebu Pacific who boarded the planes with the nurse.

Ona asked overseas Filipino workers from the Middle East to be tested for MERS-CoV before coming back to the country.

The health secretary also said that isolation rooms in hospitals have been prepared and doctors have been briefed to respond to MERS-CoV cases.

MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory disease which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

As of July 23, 837 laboratory-confirmed cases including 291 deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization. (MNS)

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