While the number of exported cases of MERS-CoV out of the Middle East has been somewhat subdued over the past year, the threat of the infection being carried to other parts of the world by international travelers remains.
Just posted on the Malaysian MOH website - and reported for the past couple of hours by local media - we have a detailed account of a Malaysian citizen, recently returned from performing Umrah, who has been diagnosed with MERS-CoV.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH: RECENT CASE TRACKING PEOPLE CONFIRMED INFECTIONS LOCAL MIDDLE EAST CORONA VIRUS Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) HOME FROM DOING JUST UMRAH
lighting Please refer to Attachment
added on 01-01-2018
MINISTRY OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
LATEST RESERVATION OF LOCAL CASE CERTIFIED IS MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS
(MERS-CoV) REDUCING SERVICES FROM THE UMRAH
The Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) wishes to inform one (1) confirmed case of MERS-CoV involving a Malay 55-year-old Malaysians from Selangor. The investigation found that he had just returned to Malaysia from working umrah and arriving in Malaysia on December 23, 2017. On December 24, 2017, he had symptoms of fever, cough, weakness, fatigue and leg pain. The patient sought treatment from the clinic near his home, where he had received treatment as a fever case. Later on 28 December 2017, he came to Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR), Klang Hospital and he was admitted to the HTAR ward for further examination and treatment.
Recognizing the history of his new journey back from performing umrah, the MERS-CoV screening test was carried out and it was positive, respectively, for the screening test conducted by the Sungai Buloh Hospital on 30 December 2017 as well as subsequent verification tests conducted by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR ) on 31 December 2017. Currently, the patient is in stable condition and has been referred to Sungai Buloh Hospital for further treatment. The patient has informed that while in the Holy Land, he was taken to a camel farm, where he then drank raw camel milk and came in contact with the camels found on the farm.
MOH is in the process of preventing and controlling activities, including detection and monitoring of close contacts to patients such as family members, umrah pilgrims in the same group, healthcare professionals in treating healthcare and close contact in patients on board. Prevention and control of infections among health workers have been enhanced at all levels as well as monitoring the health status of health personnel involved in handling related cases. Recent developments about those involved will be communicated from time to time.
Referring to reports from the WHO, now the cause of the actual infection and the way the infection for MERS-CoV's disease is still unidentifiable. However, activities such as touching camel-camel animals, eating or drinking any raw / not cooked products that involve camels like milk, meat, urine are at risk for MERS-CoV infection. The WHO also pointed out that at present the level of transmission of the infection is entirely unknown and there is no vaccine to protect against MERS-CoV infection and there is no specific drug to treat it. The WHO also does not issue travel advice or travel ban on any countries involved.
MOH would like to emphasize on health advice to the public who want to work umrah in the Holy Land or visit any country in the Middle East region who are currently reporting MERS-CoV infection, on the following:
- During the visit, always practice high levels of personal hygiene such as regular handwashing with water and soap or hand sanitizer, especially after coughing, sneezing or after shaking;
- During the visit, always carry with the mouthpiece and nose mask as well as hand sanitizer for use when needed;
- During the visit, avoid visiting a home or healthcare institution involved in the incidence of MERS-CoV epidemic in the country;
- Avoid visiting animals or touching any kind of animal, especially camels;
- Avoid taking (ie eating or drinking) any raw / non-cooked product that involves camel; such as milk, meat, urine and its products.
- Those returning from visits to affected countries, especially countries in the Middle East region are advised to seek immediate treatment, in the event of symptoms of fever and respiratory infections (such as cough and difficulty breathing), in particular within 14 days after arriving in Malaysia. They should be informed about their travel history to the treating physician.
The cooperation of the travel agency, especially those managing umrah / haji pilgrims, is to be used to reinforce awareness of the occurrence of MERS-CoV infection through continuous information gathering to pilgrims who are managed. For this purpose, the agency is asked to refer to the health advice as suggested d