Russian tourist with suspected MERS negative for dead virus

Tests carried out by Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute June 24 proved that a female Russian tourist suspected of carrying the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was negative for the deadly virus.

The 24-year-old Russian woman has been quarantined in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong  as she experienced fatigue, cough and breathing problem. After she went to Hoan My Hospital in the central highlands town of Da Lat where she was transferred to the province’s General Hospital, she and her boyfriend were quarantined and under supervision of medical workers.

According to the initial investigation, before arriving in Vietnam, she and her boyfriend flew with connecting flights through Dubai in the United Emirates Arab, and Bangkok in Thailand. Both countries have been infected with MERS.

Vietnam has yet to detect anyone infected with MERS, which first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012, but the virus may penetrate the Southeast Asian country via people who come from areas affected by the epidemic, including Asian countries near it such as China, South Korea, and Thailand.

Vietnam's health authorities requested  all border gates, international airports in big cities including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to tighten medical quarantine procedures, detect signs of the disease from international visitors. For those who come from MERS-hit areas, they must fill in the healthcare declaration.

So far, Vietnam has had dozens of suspected MERS cases; however, tests have showed that they were all negative for the deadly virus.

MERS has up to now caused 1,330 cases in 26 countries and killed over 470 patients, according to the World Health Organization.

Related story:
Russian tourist quarantined for suspected-MERS-CoV

By staff writer - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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