FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

WHO announces seven new cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome in United Arab Emirates

The World Health Organization said on Saturday that the Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates reported seven new laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

All seven cases are in Abu Dhabi. The patients are in hospital isolation, and further investigations are being completed.

WHO said 261 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection have been reported since September 2012, including 93 deaths.

The respiratory illness can be difficult to diagnose due to mild or atypical symptoms. Travelers returning from the Middle East who develop severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) should also be tested for MERS-CoV.

WHO said member states should remain diligent in surveillance for SARI to prevent the spread of the infection. Prevention and control measures have been implemented to prevent the spread of the disease within healthcare facilities.

Healthcare workers are asked to use standard precaution consistently with all patients because of the difficulty in diagnosis the illness. Patients who present symptoms of MERS-CoV should be managed as potentially infected even if they test negative for the infection.

WHO asked that the public and travelers should avoid contact with animals and practice good hygiene. No special screening at points of entry or travel restrictions have been implemented.