Hong Kong travelers warned to use caution in Middle East

MERS case suspected in the Middle East
MERS case suspected in the Middle East | Courtesy of
According to the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP), officials have found a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Middle East that serves as a reminder that the public must remain cautious when travelling.

"The Hajj pilgrimage is under way,” a CHP spokesperson said. “Pilgrims visiting Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should be vigilant against MERS. Those with pre-existing major medical conditions, such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease and immunodeficiency, are more likely to develop severe infection if they are exposed to MERS. Pilgrims should hence consult health care providers before travel to review the risk and assess whether pilgrimage is advisable.”

All travelers should take into serious consideration the health risks in their destinations.

"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,” the 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.”

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Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection

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