Saturday, April 19, 2014

Public Urged To Take Precautions Against MERS

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) -- The public has been urged to take precautionary measures to prevent respiratory illness following the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President Datuk Dr N.K.S Tharmaseelan said there was no need for anyone to change their travel plans because of MERS.

However, he said travelers to countries in or near the Middle East should follow standard precautions.

"People should wash their hands more frequently and avoiding people who are ill and cover their noses and mouths when they cough or sneeze.

"If they develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travelling from countries in the Middle East or neighboring countries, they should see healthcare provider and mention their recent trips," he said in a statement, in Kuala Lumpur, Friday.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam confirmed the death of a man on April 13 from MERS-CoV, the first such case reported in Asia.

The man had just returned from performing the 'umrah' (minor Haj).

MERS belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include both the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003.

MERS can cause symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.


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