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Suspected MERS case reported
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (June 14) reported a suspected case 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 is detailed below:
Sex Male
Age 69
Affected area involved Dubai, United Arab Emirates
High-risk exposure Camel contact
Hospital Prince of Wales Hospital
Condition Stable
MERS-CoV preliminary test result Negative

     "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.

     As Ramadan will last until late June, pilgrims going to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Umrah should be vigilant against MERS. The CHP has launched a new poster to enhance health education for the public and pilgrims travelling to the Middle East on prevention against MERS.

     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 MERS page of the CHP and its Travel Health Service, MERS statistics in affected areas, the CHP's Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, and the World Health Organization's latest news for more information and health advice. Tour leaders and tour guides operating overseas tours are advised to refer to the CHP's health advice on MERS.
Ends/Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
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