Suspected MERS patient tests negative

 The woman who was hospitalised in Mangalore suspecting that she might have been suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Corona virus is not suffering from the disease, said Dakshina Kannada District Surveillance Officer Dr Rajesh. 

It was said that the woman had been to ‘Umra’ at Mecca in Saudi Arabia on May 11 and returned to Mangalore on May 20. She had developed fever and cold. Suspecting that she might be suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), sputum samples of the patient were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and Manipal Centre for Virology and Research (MCVR), Manipal. Though it takes about one week to get the report from NIV, the report from MCVR has arrived and it is found that she is not infected by Corona virus, but is infected by Influenza B virus. “The report from Pune is yet to reach us,” said Dr Rajesh.  

The woman is recovering and is likely to be discharged from the hospital. No suspected cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been reported in the district so far, though seperate teams have been formed to check the same, especially in the airports.The Health department has set up surveillance teams at Mangalore Airport to screen passengers arriving from the Middle East (West Asia). The staff from Yenepoya Medical College have been deployed at the airport.

The Health department officials will join them from Thursday. Pamphlets will be distributed at the airport to create awareness on the virus among passengers. An announcement will be made at the airport to screen all those patients suffering from cold, fever and respiratory problems, he added.

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