Update on latest MERS situation in Malaysia

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 9) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by Malaysia, and again urged the public to pay special attention to safety during travel, being alert to the health risks in the places they visit.
     According to the WHO, the male patient, aged 55 and residing in Malaysia, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from December 13 to 23, 2017. He consumed camel milk and had contact with a camel at a camel farm on December 20. The patient developed symptoms on December 24 and was treated and hospitalised in Malaysia.
     This is the second MERS case in Malaysia.

     "The CHP has liaised with the Ministry of Health Malaysia and the WHO to obtain further details.

The Ministry of Health Malaysia confirmed that the patient remained asymptomatic onboard during the return flight to Malaysia and there were no Hong Kong residents identified as close contacts on the flight. We will maintain close communication with the WHO and relevant health authorities," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "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," the spokesman said.

     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 http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/26511.html" target="_blank">CHP and its http://www.travelhealth.gov.hk/english/popup/popup.html" target="_blank">Travel Health Service, MERS statistics in http://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/distribution_of_mers_cases_en.pdf" target="_blank">affected areas, the CHP's http://www.fb.com/CentreforHealthProtection" target="_blank">Facebook Page and http://www.youtube.com/c/ChpGovHkChannel" target="_blank">YouTube Channel, and the WHO's http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/coronavirus_infections/en" target="_blank">latest news for more information and health advice. Tour leaders and tour guides operating overseas tours are advised to refer to the CHP's http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/26551.html" target="_blank">health advice on MERS.

Published on: 2018-01-09

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