Hong Kong DoH maintains surveillance on new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

The Hong Kong Department of Health (DH) said on Wednesday that it is monitoring 10 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates.

The WHO reported that the cases were healthcare workers in Abu Dhabi and were traced to a patient who died on April 10. The patients had no underlying conditions and are in stable condition.

"The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH will seek more information on the cases from the WHO and the relevant health authority," a DH 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."

The recent MERS-CoV cases bring the total to 238, including 92 deaths.

"No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesperson said.

Early identification of MERS-CoV is difficult due to mild or atypical symptoms. Healthcare workers are encouraged to maintain strict infection control measures when interacting with a suspected case.

CHP said travelers returning from the Middle East who develop severe acute respiratory infections should also be tested for MERS-CoV. Those with symptoms are advised to wear masks and seek medical attention.