Via ABS-CBN News: OFW from UAE tests positive for MERS-CoV. Excerpt:
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who arrived in Manila Tuesday (April 15) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-COV).
Four members of his family from the UAE have been quarantined plus the 5 people who fetched him at the airport.
Even though these 10 people have not exhibited symptoms of MERS-COV, Ona said they have been placed under isolation to prevent the possible spread of the virus.
"They are now in isolation together with the family. All of them are without symptoms," he said.
He explained that the OFW, a nurse, tested positive for MERS-COV after he was exposed to the Filipino paramedic who died from the disease in Al Ain.
"When we say exposed, may contact siya. We are not even sure kung kaibigan niya yung namatay, mga kasama niya," he said.
He said the Department of Health (DOH) received the information regarding the nurse from its counterparts in the UAE.
The OFW nurse and his relatives will have to undergo separate tests during their stay at an undisclosed hospital. The results of the tests will be issued on Friday or Saturday.
“Since they are symptom-less, we are just doing some preventive measures. We will give them medicines once they exhibit symptoms,” he said.
The incubation period of the virus is 10 to 14 days.
At the moment, there is no vaccine against MERS-CoV, he said.
Ona said the DOH is “contact-tracing” those who were near or had been in contact with the OFW.
“We need to observe them so that they can undergo tests,” he said.
So far, authorities have been able to contact those in front, at the back, and those beside the OFW on the plane from UAE to Manila.
When you reflect on the fact that the Saudis and other Gulf states employ millions of workers from Africa and Asia, the only surprise is that it took this long for MERS to get out of the Middle East.