June 20, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan advised Baguioites to be watchful against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-COV), now reported to have caused more than 10 deaths in South Korea.
The public should be aware of the symptoms of the illness, as there is still no known vaccine, nor medicine for MERS-COV, he added. As no travel bans have been issued yet tourist arrivals should be monitored from the airport or seaport to ensure their health and safety and the general public as well, he further said.
MERS-COV is an illness discovered in Saudi Arabia 2012 and spread to 21 other countries within two years. The symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and could be transmitted through close contact, by those caring for or living with an infected person. Individuals younger than one year old up to 99 could be infected, it was known.
Other symptoms could be gastrointestinal infections, vomiting, and nausea. Senior citizens and those with low immune system could easily be infected.
Persons exhibiting symptoms with travel history to the Arabian peninsula should thus seek medical attention and stay home, medical personnel advised. A 14-day quarantine is recommended for persons with recent travel history to MERS COV-infected places, unless laboratory tests which could be made available after three days states otherwise.
The mayor is expected to meet with the council committee on health, and health authorities from the Department of Health –CAR, Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), Saint Louis University (SLU), Notre Dame (NDCH), Baguio Medical Center (BMC), the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), and representatives from the Korean community in the city.
Mayor Domogan expressed appreciation for the private health facilities who are prepared to admit patients from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), in case of an outbreak.
Baguio hosts more than 10,000 Koreans, it was learned
During the Ebola scare sometime last year, an isolated ward was prepared, with a specially trained team of doctors and medical workers. A specially equipped transport for patients was also prepared./Julie G. Fianza