MERS War Stepped Up as 5 Lives Lost in 1 Day

2015-0223 MERS War Stepped Up as 5 Lives Lost in 1 Day

Deaths from the MERS virus have surged in the Kingdom, the Health Ministry figures showed on Friday.

The ministry recorded five MERS deaths on Thursday alone, bringing to 16 the number since Feb. 11.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus also infected two more people, the ministry said.

The five victims were four Saudis from Alkhobar, Riyadh and Buraidah, while the fifth patient was an expatriate from Buraidah. The two people infected are from the capital and Alkhobar.

Since June 2012, MERS has claimed 382 lives out of 899 infections. There are currently 29 people being treated at various health facilities in the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Keiji Fukuda, assistant director general for health security at the World Health Organization, said at a press conference here Thursday that there should be further discussions on developing a vaccine for camels, because they are passing the virus on to humans. They are also the likely animal source of MERS.

However, this issue was not the sole preserve of the WHO but should take place with companies in the private sector and global regulatory bodies in other sectors, said Fukuda in response to questions from Arab News.

“Our role is to point out what kind of information is needed to have the best possible public health response. This is our main focus for research on developing vaccines,” he said.

“If the virus is in the animal population it is very hard to think of eradication, because we are not going to kill all camels.”

He said that the idea would be to protect people by preventing the virus moving from camels to humans.

“We came here as one team and not separate teams, because we know that the issues are linked together and we should address them as being linked,” Fukuda said.

The WHO official commended the Kingdom’s efforts to fight the virus. “We are seeing a big improvement in the way the Kingdom is handling MERS-CoV, compared with the past, whether in terms of research, prevention measures, curing of cases, and decreasing infections in health care settings.”

Meanwhile, the ministry has organized a major awareness campaign at 2,000 schools. Students will be asked to write a 200-word essay on the virus, its symptoms, precautionary measures, and the medical treatment offered by the state. The ministry also plans to organize lectures, exhibitions and seminars on MERS at schools. Students would be told about the importance of personal hygiene.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker