Negative test results from suspected MERS-CoV case

Negative test results from suspected MERS-CoV case
Negative test results from suspected MERS-CoV case | Courtesy of
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP), part of the Hong Kong Department of Health, recently announced that test results have returned as negative for a suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) case.

Health officials have used this incident to encourage the public to be aware of their health and safety while they travel. Travelers must take note of health risks when they visit certain areas.

"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-CoV.”

Health experts expect the upcoming months to have a resurgence in MERS-CoV cases due to more people traveling for their pilgrimages to Mecca.

"As the Hajj pilgrimage will begin soon, pilgrims visiting Mecca, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, should be vigilant against MERS,” the CHP spokesperson said. “Those with pre-existing major medical conditions, such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease and immunodeficiency, are more likely to develop severe infections if they are exposed to MERS Coronavirus. Pilgrims should hence consult healthcare providers before travel to review the risk and assess whether pilgrimage is advisable.”

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Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection

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