The Health Ministry warns those traveling to the Middle East to take extra precautions to avoid the viral respiratory disease.
The Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah in a press release has urged Malaysian’s traveling to the Middle East to increase their level of cleanliness by washing their hands often with soap or to sanitise their hands, especially when they cough and sneeze.
“The public should wear a mouth mask and stay away from anyone who is sick. They should also avoid eating raw food, unwashed fruits or drinking untreated water while on their visit,” Hisham said today.
“Tour agencies handling umrah and haj packages need to boost awareness of the virus and advise their customers.”
MERS is a viral respiratory ailment first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, those infected develop severe acute respiratory difficulties with fever, cough and shortness of breath symptoms.
Malaysia’s first fatality
On April 13, a 54-year-old man from Batu Pahat, Johor died at the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital from acute pneumonia after being infected with MERS.
The victim returned to Malaysia on March 29 after performing the umrah and complained of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. He was hospitalised on April 10.
The Health Ministry also conducted full medical checks on all 17 people who had been in the same umrah group and checks showed they were negative for the MERS virus.
The ministry also confirmed that as of yesterday, no new cases have been reported in the country.
For latest updates on MERS the public are advised to visit the Health Ministry website, http://www.moh.gov.my
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