MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Filipina nurse who tested positive for the MERS Coronavirus has a weaker immune system to fight the virus because of her pregnancy, Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin said on Thursday, February 12.
“Yung condition ng pasyente, ‘pag buntis ka, mas mababa yung iyong resistensya. Kung mas mababa ang resistensya, mas malakas umatake yung virus, mas may posibilidad na tumagal siya ng kaunti [sa ospital]. Magde-depende sa kanyang response,” she explained.
(The condition of the patient, if you’re pregnant, you have a weaker immune system. If your immune system is weaker, the virus will attack more, and it’s possible for her to stay a little longer in the hospital. It will depend on her response.)
Garin said doctors at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) where the nurse is confined only administers medicines allowed for pregnant mothers. The nurse is already 4 to 5 weeks pregnant.
Garin also explained it is not possible for the child to get infected with the virus, but there is a possibility the mother’s condition might affect the child’s survival.
The 32-year-old patient no longer has fever and is in stable condition. The test results of her husband and mother-in-law have yet to be released, while the health department already located 63 of the 225 passengers of Saudia flight 860 that the nurse took on February 1.
The Department of Health is also closely observing 50 other people who the nurse was in contact with since she arrived in the country from Saudi Arabia.
Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma on Thursday said 10 individuals are already admitted at RITM, 6 of which had contact with the nurse when she was earlier confined at a private hospital. All of their laboratory results will be released 10 pm Thursday.
Garin urged the other co-passengers to get in touch with the health department by calling these numbers: 711-1001 and 711-1002.
After the 32-year-old nurse arrived in Manila from Saudi Arabia, she went through 3 initial tests for MERS Coronavirus, all with positive results. (READ: Filipina nurse from Saudi tests positive for MERS-CoV)
The MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is a highly fatal, influenza-like illness characterized by fever, cough, and often with diarrhea. (READ: FAST FACTS: The MERS Coronavirus)
As of February 5, the World Health Organization reported 971 laboratory-confirmed cases of infections, 356 of which resulted in death, worldwide. – Rappler.com