Suspected MERS patient from Laguna tests negative – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 20) — A patient suspected of having Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has tested negative for the disease, the Health Department said Wednesday, citing confirmation from the health research facility where the patient was quarantined.

"Yes. The patient tested negative for MERS-CoV," Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.

The patient was reportedly first rushed to the emergency room of the Laguna Doctors Hospital (LDH), but was transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine RITM in Muntinlupa City as LDH's emergency room was undergoing general disinfection.

MERS-CoV, commonly known as MERS, is a viral respiratory disease that is potentially fatal.

The usual symptoms of the MERS-CoV disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is also a common finding, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported. It can affect anyone, especially older people and those with weakened immune systems and chronic diseases.

Approximately 35 percent of reported patients with MERS-CoV infection have died, the World Health Organization reported. The disease was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.