Filipina MERS-CoV patient discharged from hospital

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(CNN Philippines) – The Filipina nurse who was earlier diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been released from the hospital, according to health officials on Friday (February 20).

Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin told reporters that the 32-year-old female has been "discharged" from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) where she was confined.

Garin said that the patient was allowed to go home after a series of tests yielded "negative results" from sputum and rectal swabs.

However, she said, the patient would still be under a 10-day home quarantine period.

Garin did not disclose when the patient was released, saying she was allowed to leave RITM either late Thursday evening (February 19) or early Friday morning (February 20).

She said the confidentiality of the release was a precautionary measure to protect the patient's privacy.

The patient, who is six to seven weeks pregnant, was also advised to seek treatment should other health-related symptoms appear.

Symptoms to confirmation

According to Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH), the Filipina nurse - who arrived in the country on February 1 - began to exhibit symptoms of MERS-CoV a day after her arrival.

She sought medical consultation and was confined at the RITM after test results showed she was positive for the disease.

Eleven other people who were in close contact with the patient were also confined at the RITM after exhibiting symptoms associated with MERS-CoV.

By Sunday (February 15), only two people were under the watch of RITM: the index patient and another who was tagged as a "patient under investigation."

As of Friday, Garin said, "To date, there is no active case of MERSCoV in the country," but added that people must be constantly on guard given the number of Filipinos working in the Arab Peninsula.

PNA contributed to this report