The Philippines on Monday confirmed its second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in a foreign national who arrived in the Southeast Asian country from Dubai last month. The largest outbreak of the virus outside of Saudi Arabia, where it was first identified in humans in 2012, began in May 2015 in South Korea.
The 36-year-old man arrived in Manila on June 19 from Dubai, Reuters reported, adding that he was admitted to a hospital on Saturday after he showed symptoms of the disease. Authorities are now conducting contact-tracing -- a process to identify all those people who have come in contact with an infected person -- to prevent the spread of the disease, health ministry spokesman Lyndon Lee-suy reportedly said, adding that the man's condition was improving.
Lee-suy reportedly said that that the man had also traveled to Saudi Arabia. The first MERS case in the Philippines was detected in January when a Filipino nurse working in Saudi Arabia contracted the infection but survived. Last month, Thailand confirmed its first case of MERS, a disease that comes from camels and has no known cure.
The virus, which is most commonly found in the Arabian Peninsula, has so far claimed the lives of 33 people and infected over 180 in South Korea. In Saudi Arabia, the virus has claimed over 450 lives since 2012.