Korean student suspected of MERS quarantined in Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – A Korean student has been put under quarantine at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) for suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome corona virus (MERS).

Dr Carmela Gensoli of the City Health Office said on Tuesday, June 30, that the patient is under observation, after swab samples were secured and sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila for testing. (READ: FAST FACTS: The MERS Coronavirus)

The patient arrived from South Korea on June 26, and was confined to a private hospital in Bacolod. On Tuesday, the patient was transferred to CLMMRH.

Gensoli said the patient had been displaying MERS-like symptoms – fever, coughing, and sore throat – since June 29.
 The apartment where the patient initially lodged is also under close monitoring.

As of June 26, the World Health Organization reported 484 fatal MERS cases worldwide.

'Large and complex'

WHO declared the MERS outbreak in South Korea “large and complex" last month. 

The first patient was diagnosed on May 20 after his arrival from Saudi Arabia. South Korea has recorded at least 182 infections and 32 deaths. At least 2,682 people are under quarantine, with at least 60 confirmed cases contracting the disease at Samsung Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in Seoul. No new cases have been reported in the last 9 days. (READ: S. Korea cautiously reports no new MERS cases or deaths)

Bacolod has a high influx of Korean nationals, with at least 1,200 in the city. CLMMRH chief Dr Julius Drilon reassured the public that the hospital is prepared to handle similar cases, adding that a couple recently arrived from the Middle East had brought in their 4-year-old child for suspected MERS.

The child was found negative of the virus, and has been released.

On Monday, 3 South Koreans admitted to the RITM in Manila tested negative for MERS. – Rappler.com