A re­cent out­break of MERS-CoV in Thai­land, it is con­cerns for the coun­try

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

Af­ter a re­cent out­break of Mid­dle East Re­s­pi­ra­tory Syn­drome Corona virus (MERS-CoV) in Thai­land, it is go­ing to be a great con­cern for the coun­try as a whole. The county has been put on red alert and all the health fa­cil­i­ties to deal with MERSCoV have been ac­ti­vated in­clud­ing the Min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee.

The MERS-CoV which was the first re­ported in Saudi Ara­bia in 2012. The virus ap­pears to be cir­cu­lat­ing through­out the Ara­bian Penin­sula, pri­mar­ily in Saudi Ara­bia, where the ma­jor­ity of cases (>85%) have been re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease from the min­istry of health stated that, a typ­i­cal symp­tom for the MERS-CoV in­cludes se­vere acute re­s­pi­ra­tory ill­ness with symp­toms of fever, cough and short­ness of breath. Ap- prox­i­mately, 36 per­cent re­ported pa­tients with MERS-CoV have died.

To pro­tect from get­ting MERS-CoV, the press re­lease states that, it is ad­vised that peo­ple should fol­low some of tips to help pre­vent re­s­pi­ra­tory ill­ness such as wash­ing of hands of­ten with soap and wa­ter for 20 sec­onds, and help young chil­dren do the same. If soap and wa­ter are not avail­able, use an al­co­hol-based hand san­i­tizer; cover mouth and nose with a tis­sue when cough­ing or sneez­ing, then dis­card the tis­sue in the trash af­ter use and wash hands af­ter­wards (cough or sneeze into the up­per sleeves of their cloth­ing, but not into the hands; avoid touch­ing nose, eyes, and mouth with un­washed hands; should avoid close con­tact, such as kiss­ing or shar­ing cups or eat­ing uten­sils, with sick peo­ple and more­over one should clean and dis­in­fect fre­quently touched sur­faces, such as toys and door knobs.

Since this re­s­pi­ra­tory ill­ness does not have as such treat­ment as of now, but only med­i­cal care will be sup­port­ive and may help to re­lieve symp­tom.

Sev­eral cases have been re­ported out­side the Mid­dle East. Most of th­ese in­fec­tions are be­lieved to have been ac­quired in the Mid­dle East, and then ex­ported out­side the re­gion. Glob­ally, since Septem­ber 2012, World Heath Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( WHO) has been no­ti­fied of 1227 lab­o­ra­tory-con­firmed case4s of in­fec­tion with MERS-CoV, in­clud­ing at least 449 re­lated deaths.

While, WHO does not rec­om­mend the ap­pli­cant of any travel or trade re­stric­tions or en­try screen­ing re­lated to MERS-CoV.

Since the virus can spread from per­son to per­son through close con­tact; trav­el­ers who are trav­el­ling to South Korea should take all pre­cau­tions while trav­el­ling. WHO rec­om­mended some gen­eral mea­sures for trav­el­ers to pro­tect them­selves from re­s­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses are which in­cludes wash­ing hands of­ten and not touch­ing nose, eyes, and mouth with un­washed hands.

On 20th May 2015, MERS-CoV was re­ported in South Korea from a 68 years old traveler who had trav­elled to Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Ara­bia and Qatar, prior to re­turn­ing to Korea on 4th May. To date a to­tal of 126 MERSCoV cases in­clud­ing 11 deaths have been re­ported from South Korea. The on­go­ing out­break in the Repub­lic of Korea is the largest out­break out­side the Mid­dle East, and while con­cern­ing, there is no ev­i­dence of sus­tained hu­man to hu­man trans­mis­sion in the Repub­lic of Korea.

Since the re­s­pi­ra­tory ill­ness was re­ported on 20th May 2015, the traveler to South Korea where there is an on­go­ing out breaks since 20th May 2015, the trav­el­ers are at risk, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease from Min­istry of Health.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, if the per­sons are plan­ning to visit South Korea, it is ad­vised that seek ad­vised from a Physi­cian or health worker be­fore 4-6 weeks be­fore the trips.

Mean­while, if de­vel­oped some symp­toms af­ter re­turn­ing back South Korea fever with cough or dif­fi­culty breath­ing within 14 days af­ter re­turn­ing from South Korea a per­son should call 112 or near­est health fa­cil­ity for ad­vice and should men­tion your re­cent travel and about your symp­toms as soon as pos­si­ble which may help you to get med­i­cal as­sis­tance soon and also help to pro­tect your fam­ily and friends from be­com­ing sick.

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