Two Women Succumb to MERS; Caution Urged

2015-0528 Two Women Succumb to MERS; Caution Urged



RIYADH: Two Saudi women died and a new case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) emerged in the Hofuf region, the Ministry of Health announced here on Tuesday.

The dead were aged 68 and 77 years of age, while the new victim is a 71-year-old man from the same region.

The number of MERS cases has reached 1,006 Since June 2012, including 559 recoveries, 440 deaths and seven patients undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the Kingdom.

Based on the current situation and available information, the World Health Organization (WHO) encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of MERS-CoV in health care facilities.

It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS early because like other respiratory infections, the early symptoms are non-specific. Therefore, health care workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis.

Droplet precautions should be added to standard precautions when providing care to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection; contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS; airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

Until more is understood about MERS-CoV, people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease and immune-compromised persons are considered to be at high risk of severe disease from MERS‐CoV infection. Therefore, these people should avoid close contact with animals, particularly camels, when visiting farms, markets or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating.

General hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals, and avoiding contact with sick animals, should be adhered to.

Food hygiene practices should be observed; people should avoid drinking raw camel milk or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry, nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.


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