MERS Update

The Philippine Department of Health confirms a second case of Middle East respiratory syndrome in the country, while health officials in Thailand confirm their nation’s first case.

Tracy Vence
Jul 8, 2015

MERS coronavirusWIKIMEDIA, NIHA 36-year-old traveler who flew into the Philippines from Dubai has tested positive for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the country’s Department of Health announced this week (July 6), according to The Philippine Star (Philstar). The patient is being treated at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City, Philstar added.

In February, a nurse who returned to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia also tested positive for MERS. According to Philstar, that patient has fully recovered.

Meanwhile, health officials in Thailand last month (June 17) confirmed the first case of MERS in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced. The patient, a 75-year-old traveler from Saudi Arabia’s neighboring country of Oman, was later declared virus-free, the Associated Press reported. Local health officials are continuing contact-tracing efforts.

“Strong health systems using strict infection control measures would be the key to prevent the spread of the virus and protect health-care workers and others,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the director of WHO’s South-East Asia Region, said in a statement.