Precaution Measures for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

What is MERS?

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The affected areas of MERS include the Arabian Peninsula and its neighboring countries. So far, over 95% of the confirmed cases were reported by Middle East countries. Moreover, there has been an outbreak of MERS in Korea since the end of May 2015 with transmissions mainly occurred in healthcare facilities.

Early symptoms of MERS-CoV include fever, coughing and other respiratory symptoms, and the condition of patients may deteriorate rapidly; in severe cases, patients may develop pneumonia or even death. In people with immune deficiencies, including chronic disease patients and the seniors, the disease may have atypical presentation.

Prevention

  1. Personal hygiene

- Wash hands properly to keep hands clean, or use alcohol-based handrub, especially before touching the eyes, nose and mouth; *Alcohol and surgical masks are set up at all entry points and other key locations at the Institute.

- Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly, and then wash hands thoroughly;

- Do not share towels with others;

- Wear gloves before handling objects or areas contaminated by secretions or excretions;

- Exercise regularly, maintain adequate rest and a balanced diet; avoid smoking and crowded places;

- Avoid close contact with patients with fever or symptoms of respiratory infection;

- If developing symptoms such as fever or cough, put on a mask and consult a doctor immediately. Let the doctor know if you have travelled to areas affected* by MERS-Cov before disease onset; suspend work and stay at home for rest if recommended by doctors.

 

  1. Precautionary measures to be adopted when travelling to affected areas*

- Observe personal hygiene;

- Avoid close contact with people with respiratory symptoms;

- Avoid visit to hospitals or contact with patients;

- Avoid going to farms or contact with animals, especially camels;

- Avoid consuming unprocessed food and beverages (such as camel milk);

- Have surgical mask handy and put on when necessary;

- If developing fever, cough or other symptoms during a trip or returning to Macao, promptly seek medical attention and inform the doctor of your travel history.

 * Affected areas: Please visit the Health Bureau website for details – List of affected areas with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infection

 

The latest development of the epidemic

 

As on 7 June, there has not been any confirmed case of MERS in Macao; As in South Korea, the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare reported that there are up to 64 cases in the country, and the number of death increased to 5.

 

In addition, the Health Bureau of Macao SAR (SSM) has increased its response to the outbreak of MERS from "alert" to "highly alert" (2nd of the 4 levels) yesterday evening. From now on, all personnel entering medical premises have to wear masks.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.ssm.gov.mo/

Let's prevent the MERS from coming to our healthy campus! Good health!