A 50-year-old man, identified only by the initials AS, has died at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital (RSUP) of a suspected case of the MERS-Cov Cov (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus).
The man died on May 7, 2014 at 20 minutes past midnight.
Kompas.com quoted the head of medical services at RSUP, Ken Wirasandhi, saying: “We are still waiting for laboratory results from the Health Service to determine if the deceased AS was positive or negative for MERS-Cov.”
Wirasandhi said the man who died had a history of respiratory disease and a coronary condition before he began complaining of shortness of breath and a cough about one month ago.
X-ray results indicated the man showed symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The deceased has returned from a minor haj (umrah) in the Middle East on April 3, 2014, seeking medical treatment at the RSUP pulmonary center a week later on April 10, 2014.
“The patient underwent lab testing. Those results did not show evidence supporting an infection with MERS-Cov in his blood samples. X-rays of the man’s chest showed chronic lung disease and reduced pulmonary function,” he said.
“The possibility is that the patient was a heavy smoker or had an existing condition that reduced lung function. It’s unclear if this was caused by fatigue or dust, either of which can trigger an existing illness to relapse,” Wirasandhi explained.
The doctor explained that patients suspected of suffering from the MERS-Cov virus must be isolated and placed under observation to prevent contamination to others via coughing or sneezing.
Continuing, Wirasandhi said: “The potential for death is high, especially if the patient is suffering from health complications such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure or coronary disease.”
The head of the forensic medicine department at RSUP Sanglah, Dr. Dudut Rustyadi, SpF, explained that the handling of the human remains of those suspected to have died from MERS-Cov virus requires special measures. Those handling the bodies of these patients must wear protective clothing and special precautions are also used in wrapping the body for burial or cremation.
Meanwhile, Bali’s health service has now formally confirmed that the man who died was negative for the MERS-Cov virus.
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