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DFA confirms 2 Filipinos Mers cases in Saudi Arabia

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Department of Foreign Affairs building. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that two Filipino nurses in Saudi Arabia had been found positive for the dreaded Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers).

Assistant Secretary Charles José, the DFA spokesperson, said in a text message on Saturday the two nurses were being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

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“The hospital management has assured the Philippine embassy the Filipino nurses were being provided the best medical treatment available,” José said.

The hospital, where the two Filipinos work, is “well-equipped with comprehensive treatment and facilities for Mers cases,” José added.

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He did not give details but assured the public the Philippine embassy was monitoring the new Mers cases and was in constant contact with the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia.

The outbreak of Mers—which causes severe acute respiratory illness marked by fever, cough and shortness of breath—was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has since infected more than 1,000 people, killing hundreds, according to the World Health Organization.

South Korea experienced a Mers outbreak from May to July with 186 confirmed cases.

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TAGS: Charles Jose, Department of Foreign Affairs, DFA, Filipino nurses, MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, Saudi Arabia
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