A Man In Riyadh Died Of MERS And Reports Of 5 Avian Flu Cases Have Come Up

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A 57-year-old man in Riyadh died of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus or Mers-CoV on Wednesday, according to Arab News. The man who died has just been categorised as the first MERS victim this year (2018), according to the Saudi Health Ministry’s website. 

What is MERS-CoV?

MERS is endemic in camels in the Arabian peninsula and surrounding countries. Human infections are sporadic and linked to direct or indirect exposure to camels or camels’ environment.

Abdullah Assiri, deputy minister for infectious diseases (via Arab News)

Last year, MERS that took place in the Kingdom was mostly controlled and prevented from outbreaks, added Assiri. A process where strict infection-control measures like triage of patients in emergency rooms an took place. 

Five other avian flue cases were noticed in Riyadh on Friday 

Five new H5N8 avian flu cases were seen on Friday in Ahsa, Riyadh, and Al- Duwadmi. Around 640 birds were seized from illegal smuggling from Jeddah to Madinah. Anyone who violates the transportation of birds can be fined up to SAR1 million and five years in jail.

Preventing the virus

People are advised to approach camels with caution, as proper hand hygiene as well as protective clothing could help in preventing the virus from reaching you. Anyone who consumes camel milk should also boil it before drinking. 

There are no vaccines or treatments that can help MERS so prevention and awareness is key.

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