3 hospitalized with MERS symptoms in Vietnam, but test negative

By Lien Chau - Lan Chi, Thanh Nien News

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  Health officials visited Hanoi's National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on June 7 to check preparations for preventing and treating MERS-CoV. Photo: Thuy Anh

Three people who were recently hospitalized in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have tested negative.
They all had symptoms like fever and cough after returning from trips to China, Dubai and South Korea, where the disease has killed six out of 87 people infected as of Monday.
A health ministry official said Sunday that a 52-year-old woman was being treated in isolation at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
She returned to Vietnam through Tan Son Nhat Airport Thursday after a trip to Dubai, where she got a fever on the last day.
The health official said she had taken some medicines, but since the fever did not subside she went to a private clinic in the southern province of Binh Duong, where she lives, after returning home Friday.
Despite medication, her fever, cough and sore throat continued, so she came to the HCMC hospital, where she tested negative.
The ministry added that there are no other suspicious cases in the woman's travel group.
Two other suspicious cases were reported by the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, according to news website VnExpress.
But after testing negative for the virus, one of them had been discharged while the other, though still under treatment, was removed from isolation, it said.
The Hanoi hospital can provide MERS test results within four hours, according to the website.
MERS falls in the same group of viruses as the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which killed 800 people around the world in 2002-03.
The virus causes symptoms like cough, fever and shortness of breath, and is highly fatal – 36 percent of MERS patients have died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, WHO said, it has been notified of 1,190 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection, including at least 444 related deaths.
No vaccines or treatment is available for MERS, whose route of transmission still remains unknown, though most cases are attributed to human-to-human infection, it said.

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