Friday, April 18, 2014

Palace: Government issues advisory concerning new Mideast virus April 16, 2014

From the Website of the President

Palace: Government issues advisory concerning new Mideast virus April 16, 2014
The Philippine government is assisting Filipinos in the Middle East in areas with reported presence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) to ensure their health and prevent the spread of the disease, the Palace said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, dispatched a team on April 12 to determine the condition of the Filipinos who have reportedly contracted the virus.

“The Embassy is continuously coordinating with the health authorities of Abu Dhabi in monitoring the cases of Filipinos possibly affected with MERS Corona Virus and the DFA urges Filipino nationals to heed the advice given by health authorities,” Coloma said.
He said one Filipino died of the disease on April 10, as confirmed by foreign affairs officials, while five others who were reportedly affected remain in quarantine as a precaution.
The Department of Health has updated President Aquino on the incidence of the disease in the Middle Eastern countries.

In accordance with the President’s instructions, the DOH issued an advisory underscore concern for the said virus.

While no travel restrictions have been issued as a precaution, Filipinos traveling to the Middle East are advised to avoid contact with persons showing influenza-like illness and to observe frequent hand washing.

Those returning from the Middle East who become ill within two weeks upon arrival are advised to delay visits to crowded places and to seek immediate medical attention.
Hospitals have been instructed to report to the DOH any patient who may be suspected of contracting the MERS-CoV infection.

All persons who recently traveled to the Middle East and are experiencing severe respiratory illness should be tested at the nearest hospital.

These cases will be reported to the National Epidemiology Center, while the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine will confirm the diagnosis.

The advisory also said the Bureau of Quarantine continues to screen travelers at different points of entry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, the MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness, the CDC said.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of those who contracted it have died. The virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact.

The CDC noted that so far, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula.

Office of the President Website

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