MERS Kills 17 Since Feb. 11; Buraidah Woman Latest Victim

2015-0223 MERS Kills 17 Since Feb. 11 Buraidah Woman Latest Victim

The deadly coronavirus claimed another life, pushing the number of deaths to 17 since Feb 11.

The latest victim of the deadly virus was a Saudi man from Alkhobar, who died Friday, the Ministry of Health said Saturday.

The virus has killed 383 so far out of 900 confirmed cases since June 2012, when it was first detected in the Kingdom.

According to the Command and Control Center (CCC), the disease-fighting body of the ministry, the new confirmed case reported is a 58-year-old Saudi woman from Buraidah.

“The current status of the female patient is symptomatic,” an official said.

There are 27 active cases receiving treatment at various hospitals in the Kingdom while there are two cases being isolated at home, the center said.

The ministry has stepped up awareness campaigns at various levels by educating schoolchildren, citizens and residents on various aspects, including the importance of personal hygiene.

The CCC has also collaborated with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help combat the spread of the disease.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its concern about the spread of MERS, a respiratory disease that has infected and killed hundreds of people in the world. Increased surveillance is needed to better monitor trends related to the spread of this virus, it added.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has made it mandatory for all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to undergo a coronavirus test before leaving the Kingdom for their home country.

The government move came following a report that a Filipino nurse aboard a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight on Feb. 1 was found to be positive with the virus. She was taken to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for treatment and was later said to have been cured and released.

According to a report, the cost of testing for the virus will be shouldered by the employers.

Earlier, two Filipino nurses died from the viral infection. One of them was working at a government hospital in Riyadh and the other in Abu Dhabi. The Philippine Embassy has issued an advisory for all Filipinos to take care and have themselves tested to make sure they don’t have the virus.


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