Preventive measures needed to stop spread of Coronavirus

The Ministry of Health has recommended preventive measures against the Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that is spreading in many countries around the world.

The ministry’s Preventive Medicine Centre advised people to minimise direct contact with acute respiratory syndrome patients, while maintaining personal hygiene and living in an airy environment. 

Those who come to or return from countries with MERS-CoV should apply intensive measures to prevent the dangerous infectious disease, it recommended. 

The centre added that people should immediately get to a healthcare centre if they have symptoms of fever above 38 degrees, breathing difficulties or a bad cough.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of May 17, there were 537 MERS infections reported in 19 countries, with 145 deaths. 

WHO warned that the disease is likely to continue spreading to other countries due to affected people travelling. However, it has yet to advise any special inspections at border gates or travel restrictions in affected countries. 

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a rare coronavirus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

A typical case of MERS consists of a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding on examination. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported. Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive care unit. Some patients have had organ failure, especially of the kidneys, or septic shock. 

Approximately 27% of patients with MERS have died. The virus appears to cause more severe diseases in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with such chronic diseases as diabetes, cancer, and lung disease.

VNA/VOV online