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Source: Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

What you should know about MERS-CoV

  1. What is MERS-CoV? - It stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

  2. Can MERS-CoV spread from person to person? ? YES. MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people thru close contact and has occurred in several clusters among household contacts and within healthcare facilities.

  3. What are the symptoms of MERS-CoV? - Most people who got infected developed acute respiratory illness with symptoms from within 2 weeks from exposure from an infected person. These symptoms are the following:
    • Fever

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath/difficulty of breathing

    • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea

  4. How can I protect myself against the virus?
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rubs.

    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    • Avoid close contact such as kissing, sharing cups or eating utensils with sick people.

    • Clean and disinfect with alcohol or bleach solution frequently touched surfaces such as toys and door knobs.

  5. What is the treatment? - There is no specific treatment. Treatment is mainly supportive care. All persons under investigation should be admitted to avoid further transmission (DOH).

  6. Who are at risk of getting infected or exposed to the virus?
    • Persons in close contact with a confirmed case of MERS-CoV

    • Persons residing in or have traveled or worked in countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen AND South Korea

    • Healthcare workers in hospitals with confirmed MERS-CoV cases

  7. Can I still travel to the Middle East or neighboring countries where MERS-CoV cases have occurred?
    • YES. Currently there are no travel restrictions to MERS-CoV-identified countries but you are advised to follow standard precautions such as hand washing and avoiding contact with people who are ill or make unnecessary visits to healthcare institutions.

  8. What should I do if I suspect I have MERS-CoV?
    • Isolate yourself

    • Cover your mouth when you cough or use a mask

    • Do not take public transportations

    • Inform immediately your private physician (or ask your physician regarding nearest MERS-CoV DOH referral center in your area).

    • You may also call your local health authorities or the Department of Health and wait for further instructions on what to do.

  9. Keep yourself informed and updated
    • Health advisories may change over time as new developments unfold.

    • Visit DOH website, www.doh.gov.ph, to keep yourself updated on the latest advisories regarding MERS-CoV.

    • Call for advice
      • DOH Manila - (02) 711-1001 or (02) 711-1002

      • DOH Davao ? (082) 305-1909

      • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine - (02) 994-1887 or (02) 807-2628 to 32 loc 239 or (02) 807-9603

      • San Lazaro Hospital, Adult Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine - (02) 732-3776 or 732-3777 loc 189; (0917) 813-0580; (0906) 445-7896

      • Makati Medical Center - ER - (02) 888-8910

      • Southern Philippine Medical Center, Davao City - (082) 227-2731 loc 4107

      • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City - (032) 514-6537

      • PSMID - (02) 911-6986 or 912-6036
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