Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

First MERS death reported in M’sia

SINGAPORE — A Malaysian man who contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Malaysia’s first imported human case – died last Sunday (April 13), according to The Star.

First MERS death reported in M’sia

The MERS coronavirus. Photo: AP

SINGAPORE — A Malaysian man who contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Malaysia’s first imported human case – died last Sunday (April 13), according to The Star.

The 54-year-old man from Johor had arrived in Malaysia on March 29, returning from a pilgrimmage to Mecca. He developed respiratory complications, and died three days after he was admitted to hospital, reported The Star.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said Singapore is closely monitoring this latest development and is in close contact with its counterparts. As of yesterday, 33 people, who had travelled to the Middle East, have tested negative for the virus, which causes acute respiratory illness in infected patients.

However, the MOH called for vigilance, noting that “given today’s globalised travel patterns, the possibility of an imported case here cannot be ruled out”.

“Our hospitals remain vigilant to test for MERS-CoV where clinically indicated, such as in patients with serious respiratory illness and a compatible travel history. The risk of an outbreak in the community here is low as sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus has not been reported,” said the MOH.

The ministry said all suspected and confirmed cases will be isolated and managed under strict airborne infection control precautions. If a case is detected, the MOH will conduct contact tracing when appropriate, and all close contacts will be placed under quarantine.

Health advisories are in place at Singapore’s border checkpoints. “The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) will also work with the relevant travel agents to ensure that MOH’s Health Advisory is provided to Umrah and Haj pilgrims,” said the ministry.

There is currently no advisory against travel to countries of the Arabian Peninsula, or to countries reporting imported cases of MERS-CoV (including Malaysia).

Frequent travellers to the Middle East and Umrah/Haj pilgrims have been advised to take precautions, such as being vaccinated against influenza and meningitis. Those aged 65 years and above or with chronic medical conditions should also get vaccinated against pneumococcal infections before travelling. Pilgrims with pre-existing chronic medical conditions like diabetes, chronic heart and lung conditions should consult a doctor before travelling, to assess whether they should make the pilgrimage.

Singaporeans are reminded to stay vigilant and to adopt health precautions which include frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with animals and with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa