OFW in South Korea warned over MERS-CoV

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-Cov) in South Korea, the Philippine consulate in Seoul reminds Filipinos to take preventive actions against the deadly infection. ABS earlier reported an advisory from the embassy saying, “In view of the rising number of people infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Korea, the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Seoul is advising Filipinos staying and residing in the country to take the following precautionary measures against said disease.” Korea’s number of MERS-CoV cases has been growing with 36 patients and three deaths the largest count outside Saudi Arabia where the infection was first detected in 2012.

In its advisory, the embassy advised Filipinos to take the following measures: Practice proper hand hygiene always, by washing your hands with soap or hand rubs with alcohol before and after eating; before and after handling, cooking and preparing food; after coughing, sneezing and using the toilets; and after touching animals. Practice proper cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Use a facial tissue when coughing or sneezing and cover your mouth and nose with it. Dispose the tissue in a wastebasket. Avoid contact with farm and domesticated animals, including camels. Avoid contact with persons infected with MERS-CoV. If you have respiratory illness, stay home and wear a surgical mask to protect family members. If you are a health worker, strictly follow infection control protocols in your work. Visit your doctor, a hospital or health facility immediately if symptoms of MERS-CoV manifest itself, including persistent coughing. If you were in close contact with a confirmed MERS-CoV patient, comply with local health regulations and postpone any trip abroad until after test results are negative. Practice healthy habits such as regular exercise, balanced and nutritional diet, and adequate sleep of at least 8 hours, as it would help strengthen the body’s immunity. Although the World Health Organization has not announced an epidemic of MERS-Cov in Korea, it noted, “Further cases can be expected.” Meanwhile, traveling to and from South Korea has not been banned to date. According to an expert, the virus’s mortality rate ranges from 30 to 40 percent. MERS-CoV symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and an incubation period of up to six days.
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