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DOH informs public of symptoms of the MERS-CoV

  The Department of Health (DOH) advised the public to be wary of the symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS virus that is spreading and affecting people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. It is a communicable disease; it could be passed on to others through exposure or close contact with a positive carrier. DOH said that the incubation period for the disease is up to 14 days. In an interview with Karen Davila earlier at ANC's Headstart, DOH Secretary Enrique Ona said that 72 passengers of the Etihad flight EY 0424 have already been tested. Forty of them were tested negative while 32 are still waiting for their results. Sec According to Ona, the symptoms of the virus are similar to the symptoms of a flu. Some of the symptoms he mentioned in the interview include fever with cough, headache, sneezing, colds, shortness of breath and diarrhea. The interview can be seen on the ABS-CBN News website. Meanwhile, returning OFWs from the Middle East that suspect themselves of being infected with the virus are advised to call DOH for immediate examination through the following hotlines: 711-1001; 711-1002; 0922-884-1564; 0920-949-8419; 0915-772-5621.