MERS-CoV outbreak in King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

An outbreak of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been reported in the King Khalid Hospital in Riyadh. A patient who was infected with this virus was admitted to the hospital, but MERS-CoV infection was not suspected. The virus was then spread in the hospital ward.

Advice For Travellers

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) often causes a severe, fatal pneumonia. This virus is spread primarily from camels to humans, but there is human-to-human transmission as well. In the hospital setting, it is not always possible to identify patients with MERS-CoV early because the respiratory symptoms are not unique.

People with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, and weak immune systems are at high risk of severe disease from MERS‐CoV infection. Travellers and people with pre-existing health conditions should avoid close contact with camels, when visiting farms, markets, or barn areas. General hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals and avoiding contact with sick animals, should be followed. Food hygiene practices should be observed. People should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine (a local custom), or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

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