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DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus

Saudi medical staff leave the emergency department at a hospital in the center of the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 8, 2014. The health ministry reported four more MERS cases in Jeddah, two of them among health workers, prompting authorities to close the emergency department at the city’s King Fahd Hospital. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE

MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Health has denied reports that the Filipino quarantined for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) no longer tested positive for the virus.

“No official report yet,” Secretary Enrique Ona said in a text message to INQUIRER.net on Friday.

The Philippine News Agency reported that the male nurse who is suspected to be infected with the virus no longer tested positive for MERS-CoV. The report was later taken down from the agency website.

The male nurse had contact with another Filipino health worker who died of the virus in United Arab Emirates.

The nurse arrived in Manila on Wednesday. The nurse’s family members who fetched him at the airport were also quarantined.

On Twitter, Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag said that with the Filipino health workers’ case, the Philippines has become the 12th country and the first in Asia outside the Middle East with laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV.

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