Philippines isolates foreigner in second MERS case

July 06, 2015 16:11
The Philippine government has ordered tighter monitoring at ports and airports after confirming its second MERS infection. Photo: Reuters

A 36-year-old foreigner is under quarantine in the Philippines after testing positive for the MERS virus.

Seven people who had close contact with him, including a Filipino woman who showed signs of symptoms, have been accounted for.

The man arrived in the Philippines on June 9 from Saudi Arabia but also stayed in Dubai, Philippine health chief Janette Garin was quoted as saying by AP.

He developed a fever and cough the next day and sought treatment on July 2.

The patient tested positive for the MERS virus on July 4 and was transferred to a special government facility.

Health authorities said about 200 passengers who were on the second flight with him have been found but 19 are still being traced.

It's the second confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome in the Philippines.

In February, a Filipino nurse tested positive for MERS after arriving home Saudi Arabia. She was cleared of the virus the same month.

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered tighter surveillance and quarantine measures at ports of entry and prompt reporting by all patients who show symptoms of the disease for immediate isolation, treatment and contact tracing.

MERS has killed 33 people in South Korea, where 186 cases have been confirmed, according to the World Health Organization.

It is the biggest outbreak outside the Middle East, where the virus was first seen in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.

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