Work linked to Filipino MERS cases in Saudi Arabia
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Friday, March 6, that 3 Filipino hospital workers contracted the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia.
The DFA linked their disease to their healthcare work in Saudi Arabia.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said their work exposed the 3 Filipinos to other MERS-CoV patients. The Filipino MERS-CoV patients work in different hospitals, Jose added.
The Philippine government is ready to help the 3 Filipino MERS-CoV patients and their families, the DFA spokesman earlier said.
The DFA's confirmation came after Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health reported on March 2 that 3 Filipinos contracted MERS-CoV. The health ministry said 17 other new MERS-CoV patients came from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India, Egypt, Sudan, and Syria.
MERS-CoV is a fatal, influenza-like illness characterized by fever, cough, and, often, diarrhea. (READ: FAST FACTS: The MERS Coronavirus)
Up to 381 people have died of MERS-CoV worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on February 26. The WHO said up to 1,030 people have contracted the virus.
In the Philippines, the first MERS-CoV case was diagnosed in February. The Filipino MERS CoV patient, a 32-year-old Filipino woman, was eventually cleared of the deadly disease. – Rappler.com