Official information on the Philippines’s suspected MERS fatality – reported on Saturday (see Suspected MERS Case Dies – 12 HCWs In Quarantine) – remains in short supply as the Philippine Department of Health has yet to post anything on their website.
The story – at least as it is being reported by local media – indicates a Saudi National fell ill several days after arriving from KSA with `MERS-like’ symptoms, was hospitalized, and died the following day.
The hospital where he was treated inexplicably failed to test him for MERS, and then sent his remains to a funeral parlor before notifying the DOH. From there the story grows even murkier, although some reports suggest his body was shipped back to KSA for immediate burial.
Whatever the finer points of this incident, it appears that – at least for now – this case is being treated as a `probable’ case of MERS by the Philippine DOH, despite no lab confirmation.
As of the latest report (see below), 101 contacts of this case have been identified and contacted, with 15 reportedly isolated with `symptoms’ at the San Lazaro Hospital and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the balance on home quarantine.
By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 6, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - All 101 people who encountered the Saudi national suspected of dying from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are now accounted for, Health Secretary Janette Garin said yesterday.
Garin noted health officials were able to locate all the persons who came in contact with the 63-year-old foreigner at the hotel, hospital and funeral parlor.
However, three more contacts manifesting MERS-CoV symptoms have been placed in quarantine at hospitals. This brought to 15 the total number of people isolated at the San Lazaro Hospital and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. “The rest are on home quarantine,” according to Garin.
Exactly what `symptoms’ these 15 isolated individuals are displaying, and the results of any testing, have not been released. Hopefully we’ll get more detailed information from the World Health Organization soon.