DOH confirms MERS case in PH

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Airport personnel are on heightened alert against MERS.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Monday (July 6) the second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Philippines after a 36-year-old male foreigner from the Middle East tested positive of the virus.

According to the DOH, the patient was referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) last Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

The test results released at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday showed that the patient had a low viral load of MERS-CoV.

DOH spokesperson Lyndon Lee-Suy said the patient was already on the 14th day of the incubation period of the virus when he was tested. This means that the risk of transmission to other passengers in the same flight with the patient is lower.

The DOH is monitoring eight people who had close contact with the patient. One of them, who was coughing, is also confined at the RITM, while the rest are quarantined at home.

MERS patients show symptoms similar to those who have flu, such as fever with cough and colds.

MERS-CoV: Key facts you should know

Health Secretary Janet Garin said there is no need to panic as there has been no record of community transmission of MERS.

Garin added that those who are at risk of contracting the virus are hospital workers and household members with close and repeated contact with the patient.

BREAKING NEWS: DOH confirms that a foreigner from the Middle East has tested positive for MERS. Patient is now in isolation at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). More details in this report.

Posted by CNN Philippines on Sunday, July 5, 2015

The first MERS-CoV case in the country was of a pregnant Filipina nurse. She was tested in February and has recovered.

CNN Philippines' Pia Bonalos contributed to this report.