Test declares child free of MERS in Jakarta

Photo: AFP

A toddler who was admitted to Sulianti Saroso Hospital in Jakarta and was suspected of being infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been declared free of the virus, a test shows.

The Health Ministry's general director for disease control and environmental health, Mohammad Subuh, said on Wednesday that a test conducted on the child had shown that the baby did not have the virus.

He said it had been suspected that toddler had the virus because similar symptoms emerged 15 days after he returned from South Korea.

"The symptoms appear within 14 days at most," he was quoted as saying by tempo.co, adding that it had been necessary to do the test to make certain the child had not been infected.

The 2-year-old boy is a resident of Teluk Gong, North Jakarta, and had just returned from a trip to South Korea with his parents. They returned to Indonesia on June 6 and the boy was admitted to Sulianti Saroso Hospital two days ago.

Even though most MERS patients are adults aged over 40, Subuh warned that children could also be infected as recent data showed the age of MERS patients decreased every year.

"Before, the virus only infected people around 55 years of age, back in 2014," he said, adding that people aged 49 had been infected this year.