Two people have died in Oman after contracting the Middle–East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS), the ministry of Health announced on Monday.
The ministry, which announced last week that five new cases of the virus has been detected in the country, confirmed that the “other cases are receiving treatment at a referral hospital.”
“We are following-up on patients’ health conditions.”
It added: “The MoH expresses its sincere and deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. The ministry also extends its thanks to the community for their cooperation and understanding of the precautionary steps taken to ensure their safety and reduce the infections.
The ministry also urged also residents to seek information only from reliable sources.
“We also urge citizens and residents to comply with the preventive measures when sneezing and coughing,” it said.
The UAE embassy in Muscat has also issued an advisory, urging all its in the sultanate to exercise caution.
بناء على بيان وزراة الصحة بسلطنة عمان الشقيقة المتعلق بالكشف عن إصابات بمرض كورونا تهيب سفارة الامارات العربية المتحدة في مسقط المواطنين في السلطنة الالتزام بإجراءات الوقاية من العدوى الصادرة من الجهات ذات الإختصاص وفي الحالات الطارئة التواصل على الرقم التالي
— UAE EMBASSY – MUSCAT (@embassymct) February 3, 2019
MERS first emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since caused outbreaks in dozens of countries around the world.
The majority of these cases – 1,901 cases, including 732 related deaths – were reported from the kingdom.
In December as well, Saudi reported five additional MERS cases.
Globally, from 2012 through December 31, 2018, the total number of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases stood at 2,279 with 806 associated deaths, according to WHO.
Infection with MERS-CoV can cause severe disease resulting in high mortality – approximately 35 per cent of reported patients have died.
Currently, it is believed that people have been infected from direct or indirect contact with dromedary camels.
The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient. Healthcare associated outbreaks have occurred in several countries, with the largest outbreaks seen in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the Republic of Korea, according to the WHO.