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Suspected MERS patient isolated, monitored

Gerry Lee Gorit - The Philippine Star

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Suspecting she has Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), health authorities here have placed a 36-year-old woman in isolation and close monitoring at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) since Wednesday.

The patient arrived from Singapore on Feb. 2 and was initially confined at a private hospital, but was later transferred to the NMMC after having been found to show MERS-CoV symptoms.

Peter Quiaiot, NMMC officer-in-charge, confirmed the patient is in an isolation room at the third floor of the hospital, which is among those designated by the government to handle medical cases of this nature.

He said the woman was first confined at nearby Sabal Hospital for breathing problems.

It would take three days more, he added, before they could release the results of tests, which should confirm whether the patient is positive or negative of the virus.

“We have to take precautionary measures. It is a concern but it is business as usual at the hospital,” he said, stressing that it is still safe to go there.

Quiaiot said the patient’s condition has neither deteriorated nor improved since she was admitted.

At least three guards are assigned about 15 meters from the isolation room to ensure that the patient is safe and no one gets in contact unless authorized. Family members who got in contact with her also went through the protocol, including isolation, for this kind of medical condition.

The hospital chief advised the public to do proper hand washing to prevent possible transmission and improve on body resistance.

Quiaiot gave assurance the hospital would give updates on the case and is ready to handle eventualities if the examinations confirm it as MERS-CoV.

Some reports say mall-goers are wary because the patient reportedly went around malls after arriving from Singapore and before being confined in hospital.

Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Dante Pajo, chairman of the City Council committee on health, said he would conduct an investigation on the matter.

CITY COUNCIL

FEB

HOSPITAL

ISOLATION

MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONA VIRUS

NORTHERN MINDANAO MEDICAL CENTER

ORO CITY COUNCILOR DANTE PAJO

PATIENT

PETER QUIAIOT

QUIAIOT

SABAL HOSPITAL

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