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Update on latest MERS situation in Austria
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 21) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Austria reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, taking due consideration of health risks in the places they visit.

     According to the WHO, the male patient, aged 67 with an underlying illness from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), visited Vienna, Austria, on September 4. He was hospitalised for severe pneumonia on September 7 and was in critical condition. He is a camel breeder and had contact with camel in the KSA.

     This is the second MERS case in Austria.

     "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," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "We will maintain close communication with the WHO and relevant health authorities," the spokesman added.

     Travellers to affected areas should maintain vigilance, adopt appropriate health precautions and take heed of personal, food and environmental hygiene. The public may visit these pages for more information and health advice: the MERS page of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, MERS statistics in affected areas, the CHP's Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the WHO'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, September 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 10:16
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