SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Hong Kong officials release update on MERS outbreak

MERS update from Saudi Arabia | Courtesy of natureworldnews.com
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP), a branch of the Hong Kong Department of Health, recently released an update about the latest Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) situation in Saudi Arabia.

There have been a total of 1,618 cases declared to the World Health Organization, including 579 deaths. Officials with the CHP have been closely watching seven new cases of MERS, and the WHO has been notified of another death from MERS.

There are three male patients and four females between the ages of 24 and 81. Three of these people have underlying illnesses, and five of the patients are connected to a MERS outbreak that took place at a hospital. The last two, one of whom is a health care worker, had direct exposure and contact with other MERS patients.

Health professionals encourage the public to be especially aware of their safety and hygiene during their travels and to take into account the health risks of visiting various places at this time.

"Travelers to the Middle East should avoid going to farms, barns or markets with camels, avoid contact with sick persons and animals, especially camels, birds or poultry, and avoid unnecessary visits to health care facilities,” a CHP spokesperson said. “We strongly advise travel agents organizing tours to the Middle East to abstain from arranging camel rides and activities involving direct contact with camels, which are known risk factors for acquiring MERS Coronavirus.”

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