611 MERS Deaths in 4 Years

Stay away from camels, people told

By Mohammed Dawood

JEDDAH — As many as 611 people have died of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) since the virus was discovered in the Kingdom in September 2012, the Health Ministry has announced.

The ministry said that 835 out of the 1,446 people who contracted the deadly virus have recovered.

The ministry, in a statement, said no woman had contracted the virus during the entire month of August while it struck five men in various parts of the Kingdom.

It said the men got the infection from mixing with the camels or other infected people.

Director of the ministry’s department to combat infections, Dr. Hail Al-Abdali, in a tweet quoted a recent study that said horses, sheep and goats injected with anti-virus drugs did not get the infection.

Infections consultant Dr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman said the risks of the camels carrying the infection to the humans still exists and asked all people to take precautionary measures when mixing with camels.

He recalled that a recent American study proved that the camels were the major incubators of the coronavirus and added that large quantities of the virus were observed coming out of the mouths of the infected camels.

The consultant said a camel which is infected for just a week can easily transfer the virus to the human beings.

The ministry has asked camel breeders to wear masks and take all other precautionary measures when mixing with camels. It also asked for removing camel farms away from the cities and towns.

The ministry has also warned people against drinking raw camel milk or eat their uncooked meat.


(Source: SaudiGazette.com.sa)

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