3 more of 7 suspected MERS-CoV cases in Zambo City test negative

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 October) – Another three of the seven persons who were suspected to have been afflicted with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) tested negative of the disease, a health official announced Saturday.

Three of the seven patients, who are all residents of this city, had been cleared earlier by the Department of Health (DOH).

Dr. Norvie Jalani, head of the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, said the result of the second batch of three patients was released Friday by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Jalani said they were still waiting for the laboratory analysis result from the RITM on the last suspected MERS-CoV case.

Dr. Nimfa Torrizo, DOH regional director said earlier that the seven individuals suspected to be afflicted with the disease were among the arriving hajj pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, where the first MERSCoV case was reported.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) earlier informed the DOH that at least 3,000 pilgrims from this city and from the nearby provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi were scheduled to arrive from Saudi Arabia.

The DOH strengthened monitoring to prevent the entry and spread of MERSCoV since the region has so many entry points from Manila, where initial examination is being held for passengers coming from the Middle East.

Aside from the Zamboanga International Airport, the airports in Pagadian City and Dipolog City, and even in Ozamis City, serve as entry points for passengers bound for Region 9.

The signs and symptoms of MERSCoV include fever and cough. (MindaNews)