CHP announces six new MERS cases

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection announced on Wednesday six additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the Middle East and is closely monitoring the progress of the disease.

Five of the six confirmed cases occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The sixth case occurred within the United Arab Emirates. All cases were reported to the World Health Organization, bringing the official count of confirmed human MERS cases to 176, including 74 deaths.

Health officials are currently investigating the cases. The CHP announced that it will remain diligent in its observation of the disease to protect the public against a potential outbreak.

"The Centre for Health Protection of the DH will seek more information on the cases from the WHO and the relevant health authorities," a Hong Kong Department of Health Spokesperson said. "The CHP will stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments of this disease."

No cases of human MERS infection have been reported in Hong Kong, but health officials are asking health care workers to abide by strict infection control measures with suspected cases to prevent a potential outbreak.

The CHP recommends that people take precautions and abide by strict hygiene practices when handling poultry. It also recommends that people cook meat thoroughly and avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables that may have been cross-contaminated to avoid infection.