DOH issues health advisory for passengers of Etihad Airways flight 424

The Department of Health, under the Philippine Government, is urgently requesting all 418 passengers of Etihad Airways Flight EY-424, which landed at NAIA on April 15, 2014, to immediately get in touch or visit their offices. This call to action is due to a potential health risk as these passengers shared the flight with a nurse who has been diagnosed with the MERS coronavirus.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), also known as EMC/2012 (HCoV-EMC/2012), is a novel species of the genus Beta coronavirus that carries a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA. This virus was first brought to light on September 24, 2012, by Egyptian virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, through a report on ProMED-mail.

As part of the ongoing investigation, the Department of Health is conducting tests on the passengers. According to a reliable source, the initial 40 individuals tested have shown negative results for the MERS coronavirus.

The Department is currently engaged in an intensive search for the male nurse who has been infected with the MERS-CoV.

Passengers are encouraged to contact the Department of Health at the following telephone numbers: 711-1001, 711-1002, 0922-884-1564, 0920-949-8419, or 0915-772-5621.