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Bulacan's PHO gives advisory on MERS-COV
By: PPAO
Friday, 02 May 2014
CITY OF MALOLOS – The Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Public Health Office strictly advises Bulakenyos to be more cautious about the spreading of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-COV) after cases of human infection in 12 countries have been reported.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that while there are reported cases of MERS-COV, Bulakenyos should not worry too much because the provincial government and health agencies in the province are rigorously monitoring the situation.

MERS-COV is a viral respiratory illness caused by corona virus. Corona virus is a large family of viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from a common cold to a severe type of respiratory illness.

People infected by the virus will experience the symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. Some may manifest with gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and some with kidney failure. People affected by MERS-COV may also have an atypical presentation if they have immune deficiencies.

MERS-COV may spread between people who are in close contact with a symptomatic traveler who developed fever and acute respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia) within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed and clusters of cases in several countries are being investigated.

Further, prevention is always better than cure so proper hygiene should be practiced by washing your hands with soap or hand rubs with alcohol before and after eating, cooking and preparing food; after coughing, sneezing and using the toilets; and before and after touching animals. Practice proper cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.
It is also advisable to visit a doctor, a hospital or health facility immediately if symptoms of MERS-COV manifest itself and always practice healthy habits such as regular exercise, balanced and nutritional diet, and adequate sleep of at least 8 hours, as it would help strengthen the body’s immunity.

On the other hand, the province of Bulacan in coordination with Department of Health and private health facilities are now performing active surveillance to locate and prevent the spreading of virus among Filipinos from Middle East after an Overseas Filipino Worker had a contact with another OFW who died of the virus in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, identified OFW from Bulacan having contacts with a positive MERS Cov patient undergone confirmatory testing are found to be negative by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). ###

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