Department of Health Gives Guidelines on MERS-CoV

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus or MERS-CoV is the new disease that’s causing alarm not only in the Middle East but in the Philippines as well. This is after a Filipino worker in the United Arab Emirates died of the disease.

Recently, an overseas Filipino worker from UAE was quarantined for testing positive of the disease when he was in Al Ain City in Abu Dhabi but on Saturday the Philippines’ Department of Health declared that the OFW was negative of the virus.

The Department of Health is still contacting the 400 passengers who flew in with the said OFW. So far, 72 have been contacted and tested for the disease; 40 have been found negative.

According to the World Health Organization, MERS-CoV has infected 243 and killed 93 worldwide since 2012. What’s alarming is there is no vaccine for this disease as of this time.

The Philippines DOH together with the Deaprtment of Foreign Affairs has released guidelines in order to be protected from MERS-CoV:

1. Practice proper hand hygiene always, by washing your hands with soap or hand rubs with alcohol before and after eating; before and after handling, cooking and preparing food; after coughing, sneezing and using the toilets; and before and before and after touching animals.

2. Practice proper cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Use a facial tissue when coughing or sneezing and cover your mouth and nose with it. Dispose the tissue in a waste basket.

3. Avoid contact with farm and domesticated animals, including camels.

4. Avoid contact with sick or infected with MERS-CoV. If you have respiratory illness, stay home and wear a surgical mask to protect your family members.

5. If you are a health worker, strictly follow infection control protocols in your work.

6. Visit your doctor, a hospital or health facility immediately if symptoms of MERS-CoV manifest itself, including, persistent coughing, and other.

7. If you were in close contact with a confirmed MERS-CoV patient, comply with local health regulations and postpone any trip abroad until after test results are negative.

8. Practice healthy habits such as regular exercise, balanced and nutritional diet, and adequate sleep of at least eight hours, as it would help strengthen the body’s immunity.

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