Rule out possible MERS-CoV infection, OFWs urged

Posted at 04/17/14 6:24 PM

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has directed the passengers who traveled with the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome–Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) to take steps to rule out the possibility that they may have been similarly exposed to the virus.

The DOH urged the passengers of Etihad Flight Number EY 0424 that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on April 15 to call up the following DOH hotlines, telephone numbers 711-1001, 711-1002, 0922-884-1564, 0920-949-8419, 0915-772-5621.

The DOH also urged other returning OFWs, especially those who have respiratory illness, to see their healthcare providers first.

In a statement, officials of the Health Department said they have already sent an epidemiology expert and an infectious disease specialist to the United Arab Emirates to assist the OFWs there.

The DOH said the OFW, who was exposed to a Filipino who died of the same virus in UAE, is still under quarantine, along with his relatives who fetched him at the airport.

Intensive contact tracing is also being conducted by the Health Department to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona earlier said that the OFW and his relatives are asymptomatic, meaning without MERS-CoV symptoms.

"Since they are symptom-less, we are just doing some preventive measures. We will give them medicines once they exhibit symptoms," he said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Quarantine has strengthened their monitoring of all incoming passengers in airports and piers around the country.