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Korean in Bacolod tests negative for MERS

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 05:40 PM July 02, 2015

BACOLOD CITY– There is no Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on Thursday afternoon disclosed that the 22-year-old student from Busan, South Korea, quarantined at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City tested negative for  MERS CoV.

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This was announced by Dr. Marlon  Tabligan, OIC chief of the CLMMRH medical professional staff,  as social media posts and text messages  circulating in Bacolod  Thursday stating that the Korean tested  positive for MERs caused panic in the city.

The Department of Health also denied Thursday that the Korean student quarantined in Bacolod City has tested positive for MERS.
“There is no confirmed case as of this time in the Philippines,” Department of Health spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said.

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Tabligan and Joan Cerrada, CLMMRH Infection Control Committee chair, appealed to the public not to spread unfounded rumors  that were causing panic among the public.

A text message circulating said, “Good afternoon everyone. Please wear n95 mask for MERSCOV prevention. One person is positive here in CLMMRH, Bacolod City. Confirmed today. Spread the word. Keep safe everybody. – Dr. Lim, Riverside Hospital, President.”

The Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital (Riverside Hospital) issued a disclaimer saying the text message was a hoax.

Some people in the city began buying masks in panic.

Posts on Facebook also called on the public to wear N95 masks  as a patient  at CLMMRH had been tested positive for MERS COV.

A post on Facebook at 10:53 p.m, Wednesday said “Good evening everyone. Please wear n95 masks for MERSCov prevention. One person is positive here  in CLMMMRH, Bacolod. Confirmed today. Spread the word. Thanks.”

Tabligan and Cerrada appealed to the public to stop reposting such messages that were not true.

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They also said it was ridiculous to call on the public to wear masks, that was no need for such.

Cerrada said the Korean student confined at the CLMMRH in fact was feeling better and had no more fever.

Dr. Carmela Gensoli, City Health Office officer in charge, said the Korean, whose name she withheld, arrived in the Philippines on June 25 in Bacolod on June 26, and developed fever, cough and a sore throat on June 29.

The student was confined at a private hospital and transferred to the CLMMRH Tuesday, she said.

The patient was transferred to CLMMRH  because it is the health facility prepared to handle MERS cases and has a well trained staff, Gensoli said.

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