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Another Pinoy worker acquires MERS-CoV

Another Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia has been infected by the deadly Middle East Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Thursday.

However, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said that one of the three Filipina health workers earlier diagnosed with the virus tested negative for MERS-CoV.

The latest Filipino to be infected contracted the virus in early March because he was directly exposed to patients wit MERS-CoV. The man works as an X-ray technician in a hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Filipino was transferred to a hospital specializing in MERS-CoV in Riyadh on March 7, and has since been confined at the intensive care unit (ICU) there.

Since 2013, 10 Filipinos–eight from Saudi Arabia and two from the United Arab of Emirates (UAE)–have  died from the virus, which has spread in the Middle East region, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

Jose said the Filipina who tested negative for MERS-CoV has been discharged from the hospital and was placed under home isolation for 14 days. She started working on March 16.
The second of the three health workers is still under isolation in the hospital’s staff housing, Jose added.

“Her medical test found her weak negative, meaning she is no longer positive but still needs further tests.”

The third Filipina, the official said, has been “showing good signs of recovery.”
“She has been released from the ICU and transferred to the ward section of the hospital. She can communicate with her fellow Filipino workers,” Jose added.

As of February 5, 2015, the World Health Organization said at least 356 people have succumbed to the virus, while there have been 971 confirmed cases.

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