Nurse from Saudi cleared of MERS-CoV

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 September) — The 38-year-old nurse initially diagnosed in Saudi Arabia with the Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV) has been cleared by the Research Institute for Tropical (RITM), according to a representative from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

In a telephone interview, SPMC chief of clinics Dr. Ricardo Audan said they received the results early Friday morning after sending the throat swab, sputum, and blood samples to the RITM last Wednesday.

“We’re already preparing the patient’s discharge forms,” Audan said.

The nurse, identified only as “AP” by the Department of Health, made headlines Thursday after reportedly being affected with MERS-CoV, through contact with a patient in Saudi.

The nurse was transferred from General Santos City to Davao City after initially testing positive at the center there.

The nurse served in Saudi Arabia for seven years, according to Audan.

“We don’t know why the patient was tested positive, since the initial results were from Saudi,” he said.

He said the Saudi Ministry of Health immediately informed the DOH last week about the case.

According to DOH regional director Abdullah Dumama, the department was already aware of the case as early as Tuesday.

Audan said the patient was not a resident of Davao City.

The SPMC official said that while the nurse initially tested positive, she did not show symptoms of the disease, like fever, flu, and body pains.

Audan assured the patient was being treated with care, and that the attending medical personnel were wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, suits and caps as she was being isolated at the hospital.

He added the patient’s husband was with her, and that he was also tested through a throat swab.

“There are no apparent symptoms right now,” Audan said.

He said MERS-CoV was a tricky virus, since the mode of transmission was not clear. (MindaNews)