What to do when you have MERS-CoV symptoms
If you think you’ve been exposed to the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-Cov), go to the nearest hospital and seek medical attention.
Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, the Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson, said a person who might have been exposed to or have been showing signs of the disease, especially after traveling to the Middle East and South Korea, should not delay testing for the virus, which could be done in hospitals.
The symptoms of the virus is similar to the common flu, which includes fever, coughing and sneezing.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s public or private hospital. It’s up to their preference,” Lee Suy told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The DOH has already established a referral system among public and private hospitals in reporting and handling of cases of the virus.
Specimens are forwarded to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, the primary hospital designated to handle MERS cases, for testing.
If one is coughing or sneezing, among the symptoms of the disease, it is best that he or she wear a facemask when traveling to or visiting the healthcare provider to protect others from getting infected, according to Lee Suy.
“These are the only tips we can give to those who may have been exposed to the virus. But there are a lot of things the public can do to prevent from getting infected,” he said.
Lee Suy said proper and frequent hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and maintaining a distance of at least one meter from others would help protect oneself from the dreaded virus.
In a press conference on Monday, Health Secretary Janette Garin also advised the public to get enough rest and sleep, and to eat a balanced diet to boost their immune system.
On its website, the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined these prevention steps for people confirmed to have or being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection:
* Aside from getting medical care, restrict activities outside the home. Do not go to public areas and do not use public transportation or taxis.
* Stay in a different room from other people at home. If available, use a separate bathroom.
* Call your doctor to inform him or her that you have or are being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection to help his or her office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.
* Wear a facemask and cover your coughs and sneezes.
* Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water.
* Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels and bedding with other people in your home.
* Monitor your symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if your illness is getting worse.
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