‘Children Less Susceptible to MERS Infection’
Children are less likely to contract the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to Dr. Mohammed Al-Shehri, a communicable diseases consultant.
“However, we should take appropriate precautions because children very often contract cold and flu, whose symptoms are similar in many ways to the symptoms of MERS-CoV,” he said responding to online callers at the National Center for Health Communication and Awareness at the Ministry of Health on Sunday.
“For example, if a child gets high temperature with difficulty in breathing, cough, and diarrhea, the child must be shown to a physician for diagnosing the case, more so if the child has been in contact with someone suspected of being infected with MERS-CoV,” he added.
Al-Shehri stressed the role of both families and schools in helping children keep away of the MERS infection. “The family should educate their children on self-hygiene and good nutrition, as well as make them familiar with the instruction of the ministry shown in its portal on how infections can be prevented,” he said.
“Also, school should update the children about proper hygiene and good nutrition at home, avoid sick people, and teach them the sound ways of sneezing and coughing by using tissues as well as hand washing with water or antiseptics,” he added.
Al-Shehri pointed out that it is very important for schools to keep away sick students from their mates and put them under observation or at least advise them against attending school.
To give impetus to the educational effort of youngsters on MERS, the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and World Health Organization, is organizing an essay contest on the virus in 200 words to test their knowledge about the virus and its prevention.