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Seven additional cases

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JorgeFoto View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 26 2013 at 1:32pm
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Department of Health (DH) is today (June 26) closely monitoring seven additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

According to the WHO, four cases have been detected among contacts of confirmed cases. They range in age from seven to 15 years, and all were asymptomatic. Two further asymptomatic cases have been recorded among female health-care workers.

The seventh case involved a 50-year-old female in the Eastern Region. She is currently hospitalised with pulmonary disease and her condition is considered stable.

In addition, the KSA health authority has announced the death of a 32-year-old male patient who was previously reported by the WHO on June 23.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 77, including 40 deaths.

"The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH will seek more information on the cases from the WHO and the relevant health authority. The CHP will stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments of this disease," a DH spokesman said.

Locally, the CHP will continue its surveillance mechanism with public and private hospitals, practising doctors and the airport for any suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

"No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman stressed.

"We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly involving patients with travel history to the Middle East, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman remarked.

Health-care workers and hospitals are reminded to maintain vigilance against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and adhere to strict infection control measures while handling suspected cases in order to reduce the risk of transmission to other patients, health-care workers and visitors.

Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop severe acute respiratory infections should be tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Patients' lower respiratory tract specimens should also be obtained for diagnosis when possible. Doctors are reminded that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhoea, particularly in patients who are immunocompromised.

Travellers should avoid contact with animals, poultry or sick people during their journeys and seek medical consultation immediately if feeling unwell.
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong."
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