You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

UAE Embassy in Oman warns against Mers outbreak

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 03/02/2019 Lujein Farhat
UAE Embassy in Oman warns against Mers outbreak © Provided by Khaleej Times UAE Embassy in Oman warns against Mers outbreak

The UAE Embassy in Muscat has issued an official health advisory warning residents and citizens in Oman.

The advisory reads: "As per the statement issued by the Sultanate of Oman related to cases of Middle East Respiratory-Syndrome Related (Mers-CoV) Coronavirus, the UAE Embassy in Muscat warns all citizens to exercise caution and prevent the spread of the disease by following health instructions issued by the concerned authorities.

"In the event of an emergency please call 00 96824400002. Citizens can also call the UAE Foreign Ministry hotline at 80044444 and register in the Twajudi service."     

The Oman Ministry of Health had issued a statement last week on January 28 that 4 new cases of Mers were recently identified. "This brings the total number of Mers cases in Oman up to 18 since 2013.

"These individuals are being given prompt treatment at a specialised hospital. The Ministry of Health would like to reinforce that it is taking the utmost precautions in finding and fighting this illness with a robust epidemiological surveillance system. 

"All specialist hospitals have been trained in dealing with such cases. The Ministry of Health and other concerned authorities have also taken the necessary precautions in this regard."

The statement concludes: "It is important to take all details and information regarding health matters directly from the source. Residents and citizens should follow preventative measures to prevent the spread of this and other diseases, especially when sneezing and coughing."

The Oman Ministry of Health also issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Mers-CoV.

Q - What is Middle East Respiratory-Syndrome Related (Mers-CoV) Coronavirus?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. It is part of a larger family of viruses that infect humans and animals. These viruses cause between 10 and 15% of all influenza cases in the world ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory infections.

Mers-CoV spreads primarily from animal to human either through direct or indirect contact. It also spreads person to person through direct exposure.   

Q - Why is it called Middle East Respiratory-Syndrome?

Its name comes from the fact that the first cases of the virus were reported in the Middle East in September, 2012. Other cases were reported in several countries including France, Italy, Jordan, Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the UAE. 

Q - Is Mers deadly?

Most severe cases that ended in fatalities had other health complications prior to contracting the virus including diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney failure or heart disease.  

Cases that had mild to moderate symptoms were successfully treated and did not have any lasting health complications as a result.

Q - What are the symptoms of Mers?

Most registered cases had these symptoms after contracting the virus:

1- High temperature

2- Cough

3- Difficulty breathing

4- Symptoms of the common cold

5- Gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain 

Q - What to do if symptoms arise?

1- Visit the nearest health facility to obtain a medical opinion

2- Take proper medication for fever and painkillers

3 - Drink plenty of fluids

4 - Take rest

5 - Avoid pregnant women, children, and those with chronic illnesses 

6 - Avoid physical contact including handshakes and kisses

Q - When should I go to the emergency room?

1- If the symptoms worsen

2- If a person is elderly, has a chronic illness or weak immune system, or is pregnant

3- If a person is exposed to a Mers patient or suspects that they've contracted the virus within two weeks of seeing the first symptoms 

Q - What treatments are available for Mers?

There is no cure, patients are given medication that helps reduce the symptoms and their side effects until the worst of the illness is over

Q - What is the relationship of Mers with camels?

Some studies indicate that the virus may have originated in camels. Thus people are warned of visiting or frequenting farms, markets or barns where these animals are kept.

Please follow all health precautions including washing hands regularly before and after touching animals. Avoid touching sick animals, and be sure to avoid touching raw meat. Cook all meats very well, making sure to sanitize hands and all utensils properly.    

More from Khaleej Times

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon