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Mangalore woman suspected of carrying MERS-Co virus from Saudi tests negative

The patient was diagnosed for minor virus and sample have been sent to the National Institute of Biologicals, Pune.

Written by Harsha Raj Gatty | Bangalore | Updated: May 29, 2014 1:57:42 pm

Following the quarantine of a 63-year old woman passenger from Saudi Arabia, suspected of carrying Middle East respiratory syndrome corona-virus (MERS-CoV), the Dakshina Kannada District Heath and Family Welfare Office H S Shivakumar said that the viral-threat was unfounded and test conducted on the patient, gave negative results.

The Mangalorean woman had left to Umrah pilgrimage at Saudi Arabia on May 11 and had returned on May 22, two days later she developed fever, cold, and repeatedly coughed to which the family took her for a health check up at a private hospital.

“Drawing parallels from the recent guidelines announced by the Karnataka’s Health Minister UT Khader on MERS and patients travel history, the case doctor asked her to get admitted in Kasturba Medical Hospital (KMC) hospital in Manipal, however the doctors who have taken blood sample and respiratory secretion have found negative results,” H.S Shivakumar, District Health Officer H.S. Shivakumar said.

The patient was diagnosed for minor virus, mostly related to age related aliments, he added. As a caution KMC authorities have sent the samples to National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Pune, for conclusion for secondary confirmation.

Meanwhile, the patient is under observation and is soon expected to be released upon the secondary test confirmation.

The affected virus equated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) by the Karnataka Health Ministry was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is said to be originating from camels.

The affected patient are said to have Pneumonia like symptom, such as infection and fluid inflammation of air sacs in the lungs, that affects the oxygen transfer to blood. The patients show symptoms such as cough, high fever, and shortness of breath, Shivkumar said.

Last week itself, Karnataka Health Minister U.T. Khader had reiterating the Bureau of Civil Aviation’s alerts on MERS and asked health screening at Bangalore and Mangalore Airport, however it was only on Thursday that the district health authorities deployed a health screening center at the Mangalore airport, a quarantine zone and 14 +1 staff on 24 rotation shift basis.

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