Kin of nurse with Mers-Cov to undergo self-quarantine

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Friday, September 5, 2014

THE 22-year-old niece of a Filipino nurse, who tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (Mers-Cov), was required to undergo self-quarantine at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) after she had close contact with her aunt.

The total number of quarantined patients here is now three, including the nurse's husband. The three of them are not from Davao City. READ: Pinay positive for Mers-Cov

Dr. Ricardo B. Audan, SPMC chief of clinics, said four relatives were endorsed and screened at the SPMC on Wednesday around 6:30 p.m.


However, it was confirmed that only the niece had close contact with the nurse. Mers-Cov can be transmitted to anyone whom the positive person had close contact with.

During the screening process, Audan said the out-patients were asked if they had close contact with the infected. They also checked the out-patients' body temperatures.

He said the three other relatives claimed they had no fever and had no close contact with the nurse, except the niece.

"As claimed by her (niece), close contact daw sila tapos naga fever daw siya. Pero during physical examination namo sa iyaha, check up, wala man siya'y fever. Everything was normal. Pero wala namo gibalewala, giadmit nalang pud namo," Audan said Thursday.

He said the niece also underwent throat swab examination, sputum and blood exam. Her specimen was also submitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for testing and confirmatory tests.

According to the online portal of Mindanews, DOH-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit 12 chief Dr. Alah Baby Vingno said they transferred the nurse's niece from Banga, South Cotabato to SPMC after she showed signs and symptoms of possible Mers-Cov infection.

"It was a precautionary measure. We want to make sure that (the suspected victim) will be properly isolated and tested for the disease," the Mindanews quoted Vingno.

She said the municipal health office of Banga town and the Integrated Provincial Health Office of South Cotabato facilitated the transfer of the relative.

After they tested negative during screening, the three relatives went home to Banga via ambulance.

Audan said he is hopeful that the nurse's specimen will show negative results.

"The couple is improving. They have good appetite. Pero yun na nga, we have to take it seriously," he said.

Audan said the results of the nurse's medical tests are expected today or tomorrow.

The nurse, her husband and her niece are currently at SPMC's Isolation Building, a ward located few meters across the main SPMC building.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the nurse tested positive for Mers-Cov in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The OFW has worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia for seven years.

Audan said the nurse was exposed to a Mers-Cov patient in Saudi Arabia on August 20. She suffered from Mers-Cov signs and symptoms such as fever and body pain on August 25.

The nurse arrived in the country last August 29 through Saudi Airlines Flight SV870. They stayed in Bulacan from August 29-31 and boarded Cebu Pacific flight SJ997 to General Santos City on August 31. From GenSan, the couple went home to Banga, South Cotabato. Her nurse friend from Saudi Arabia contacted her that she tested positive for Mers-Cov.

Meanwhile, the DOH central office already alerted DOH 11 for the tracking of the 143 listed passengers of Cebu Pacific flight J997.

DOH 11 advised other passengers to undergo self-quarantine and immediately reach out to DOH through their nearest health centers should they experience possible symptoms of Mers-Cov.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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