Nurse dies from coronavirus in Saudi-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Tuesday that a Filipina working in Saudi Arabia died from the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-COV) last August 29.
Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the 41-year-old nurse was working at a Saudi hospital and was tested positive for the coronavirus prior to her death.
"She is the first reported case (of a Filipino national in Saudi afflicted with corona virus)," said Hernandez in a phone interview.
Based on her medical records, the nurse was admitted to the hospital back in August 12 after a fishbone got stuck in her throat and was discharged two days later.
On August 19, she complained of fever and coughing and was eventually put on a ventilator on August 22 after developing respiratory distress.
Two days later, she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and had to be transferred to the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU).
"We are now coordinating with the family regarding the repatriation of her remains," said Hernandez.
Aside from the nurse, the DFA reported that another Filipina is currently confined at the same hospital after testing positive for the MERS-COV.
Hernandez said the patient was brought by her employer to the hospital for dialysis and was infected during her confinement but is now recovering.
Because of this, the DFA called on Filipino nationals in Saudi to follow the measures being advised by local health authorities in order to prevent acquisition of the virus.
"They should also immediately seek medical attention if they feel any of the disease’s symptoms," said Hernandez.
MERS-COV is a novel virus often referred to as Saudi’s own version of the severe acute respiratory syndrome and has already caused the death of 54 people in eight countries since April 2012. (HDT/Sunnex)