A patient with suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus was brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa on Wednesday, an official said.
The patient, who works abroad, was first taken to the Laguna Doctors Hospital and immediately transferred to RITM, said DOH-Calabarzon director Edgardo Janairo.
“The situation is under control in such a way that the lone patient is already on the way to RITM for isolation,” Janairo told dzMM radio.
Rumors earlier claimed that a patient had died of severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS that Janairo denied.
Both SARS and MERS-CoV are contagious respiratory diseases, with the former originating in Hong Kong and China, and the latter in the Middle East, Janairo said.
“We are monitoring the diseases. We don’t have SARS or MERS-CoV cases in the Philippines. Those would be difficult to control if they spread.”
The Laguna Doctors Hospital’s emergency room, where the suspected MERS-CoV patient was first taken, was temporarily closed for decontamination, Janairo said.
The emergency room is away from the main entrance, so those visiting the hospital should not be wary, he said.
Those who interacted with the patient were required to undergo isolation in their houses. They will be brought to the RITM if they experience symptoms in 21 to 28 days, Janairo said.
MERS-CoV symptoms include fever with cough, sore throat, nasal congestion or breathing difficulty accompanied by fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting or diarrhea.
Janairo advised the public to wear face masks to avoid catching respiratory diseases.