Second MERS case confirmed in the Philippines

Authorities tracing who foreigner had contact with after arriving in Manila with disease symptoms in June.

MERS Philippines
South Korea's MERS outbreak led to the closure of thousands of schools across the country [AP]

The Philippines has confirmed a second case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus after a 36-year-old foreigner showed symptoms of the disease when he arrived in Manila on June 19 from Dubai.

The man was admitted to a government hospital on July 4 and was under observation, health ministry spokesman Lyndon Lee-suy said on Monday, adding contact tracing was now under way to prevent the spread of the disease.

The man had also travelled to Saudi Arabia, the spokesman said. His condition was improving and there was no known transmission to the community.

Explained: What is MERS?

The first case discovered in the Philippines was in January, a Filipino nurse working in Saudi Arabia who survived the disease.

South Korea has recorded about 200 cases of MERS over the past six weeks, including more than 30 deaths.

In a push to curb the spread of the disease, Seoul recently passed laws that will allow authorities to jail people who defy quarantine or anti-infection measures.

The South Korean outbreak began on May 20 when a 68-year-old man was diagnosed after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Since then the virus has spread at a rapid pace, sparking public alarm that prompted the temporary closure of thousands of schools and trip cancellations by more than 120,000 foreign tourists.

Almost all patients were infected in hospitals and the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had found no evidence of transmission of the virus within communities outside hospitals.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies