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Suspected MERS case reported
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (February 1) reported the test results of two suspected cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks of the places of visit.
     The case notified yesterday (January 31) tested negative for MERS Coronavirus upon preliminary testing, while the new case reported today is detailed below:
Sex Female
Age 39
Affected area involved Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Risk exposure With camel contact
Hospital Tseung Kwan O Hospital
Condition Stable
MERS-CoV preliminary test result Pending

     "Travellers 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 healthcare facilities. We strongly advise travel agents organising 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 Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     Locally, the CHP's surveillance with public and private hospitals, practising doctors and at boundary control points is firmly in place. Inbound travellers and members of the public who recently visited the Middle East and developed fever or lower respiratory symptoms within 14 days will be classified as suspected MERS cases. They will be taken to public hospitals for isolation and management until their specimens test negative for MERS-CoV.

     Travellers to affected areas should maintain vigilance, adopt appropriate health precautions and take heed of personal, food and environmental hygiene. The public may visit the following pages for more information and health advice: the MERS pages of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, MERS statistics in affected areas, the CHP's Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the World Health Organization's latest news. Tour leaders and tour guides operating overseas tours are advised to refer to the CHP's health advice on MERS.
Ends/Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:35
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