Filipina nurse already clear of MERS-CoV

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Filipina nurse who was diagnosed with the MERS Coronavirus is already clear of the deadly virus and was recently discharged from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

She was cleared by the health department after 3 succeeding tests yielded negative results. 

"She is very much healthy, she is clear even in the tests using sputum swab samples, she really has no MERS Coronavirus anymore. This means that our health system works [and] we are prepared in terms of containing and detection," Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin said on Friday, February 20. 

After the nurse arrived in Manila from Saudi Arabia on February 1, she went through 3 initial tests for MERS-CoV, all with positive results

Garin said the nurse was discharged either late Thursday, February 20, or early Friday. However, as part of protocol, she will be in a 10-day home quarantine for further observation.

Her movement will be limited since she's pregnant and has just recovered from MERS, but she is "safe in the community," she said. There is also a "huge probability" her baby was not affected by her previous condition. 

The last two close contacts who also went through monitoring were already discharged as well. 

"Sa ngayon, wala po tayong active case of MERS in the Philippines. But we still have to be vigilant...dahil marami tayong mga kababayan sa Middle East," Garin added. 

(Right now, we don't have an active case of MERS-CoV in the Philippines. But we still have to be vigilant...because we have many Filipinos in the Middle East.)

MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is a fatal, influenza-like illness characterized by fever, cough, and often with diarrhea. (READ: FAST FACTS: The MERS Coronavirus)

As of February 16, the World Health Organization reported 983 laboratory-confirmed cases of infections, 360 of which resulted in death, worldwide. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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