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Official downplays new coronavirus outbreak

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 22 2016 at 8:41am
Official downplays new coronavirus outbreak

JEDDAH – A fresh coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom has been attributed to the camel delivery season, according to Mishaal Al-Rubaiaan, spokesman for the Health Ministry.

“Some of the recent cases of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) were associated with camels,” he pointed out.

However, Al-Rubaiaan downplayed the fresh outbreak of MERS cases in the Kingdom saying it cannot be described as pandemic.

“We expect more coronavirus cases in the coming weeks,” the official said in comments published by Al-Watan Arabic daily on Monday.

The ministry’s command and control center has registered a number of new cases of MERS, which first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012. “The number of MERS cases has gone down considerably compared to last year,” Al-Rubaiaan pointed out.

He urged the public and media organizations to depend only on the ministry’s command and control center for latest information about the disease. He emphasized the need to enhance public awareness programs through hospitals to contain MERS.

“We should also take precautions to prevent the spread of MERS and people should avoid mixing with patients affected by the virus, should not touch mouth, nose and eyes with their hands before cleaning them and avoid eating raw liver and drinking milk without boiling,” he said.

Al-Rubaiaan said scientific studies have not yet proved from where the virus had come. “Most MERS victims were people who had not mixed with camels,” he said.

The ministry has urged the public to keep away from sick animals as well as their secretions and products. People should clean camel meat properly before eating it, he said.

MERS symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and diarrhea. People most likely to be hit by the disease are health service providers and family members of patients.

He said the total number of people contracted by MERS in the Kingdom reached 1,483 in the past five years. A total of 855 patients have recovered from the disease while 616 died.

“At present there are 14 MERS cases under treatment at various hospitals,” he said.

Of the total cases reported from January 2015, 12 percent were health workers while 27 percent got the disease from hospitals and other health institutions, the official said. About 12 percent constituted family members of patients.

“The virus has been found to be active in winter and naturally the number of cases will increase during the season,” Al-Rubaiaan said, adding that the ministry has taken necessary measures to receive and treat MERS patients at specialized hospitals and medical centers.
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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2016 at 10:38pm
Originally posted by arirish arirish wrote:

However, Al-Rubaiaan downplayed the fresh outbreak of MERS cases in the Kingdom saying it cannot be described as pandemic.

Playing with words, like a good spokesman.  It is more endemic than pandemic Wink

It is good news if the total number of cases is lower than last year.
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