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Update on latest MERS situation in United Arab Emirates
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 25) closely monitoring two additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including one death, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The CHP 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 two cases identified in Abu Dhabi were two men aged 31 and 43, who were roommates. The former passed away on April 16.

     To date, 1 938 cases have been reported to the WHO, with at least 691 deaths. Of note, 1 722 were confirmed in 10 Middle East countries, with 1 575 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 81 in the United Arab Emirates, 28 in Jordan, 17 in Qatar, eight in Oman, six in Iran, four in Kuwait, and one each in Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain.

     "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 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 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/Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:21
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