UAE Confirms Three New MERS Cases

All newly detected cases have shown no outward symptoms of the virus, HAAD said.



The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) confirmed that three more people have been infected by MERS Coronavirus in the UAE, state news agency WAM reported.

All new cases were asymptomatic, showing no outward symptoms of the virus and were identified through health screenings in Al Ain.

Officials have said that in such cases the virus tends to clear within 10 to 14 days but the affected individuals will be kept in isolation during this period.

Last week, the UAE reported its first expat death due to a MERS infection after a foreign health worker in Al Ain succumbed to the virus. Five other first aid personnel – all from the Philippines, are also reportedly infected.

HAAD has sought to reassure residents that the current situation is not a public health concern and is coordinating with other health authorities in the country.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health has confirmed that the situation does not warrant a travel ban to any country, screenings at different ports or any restriction on trade.

Authorities have also affirmed that they are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

“The WHO is working closely with all government and health authorities to understand the risks of this virus and the way it spreads between people,” a statement to WAM said.

The MERS virus emerged in the Middle East in 2012, cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE, Oman, Tunisia and parts of Europe so far.

In its MERS update on April 11, the WHO confirmed a total of 212 cases of infection, including 88 deaths.

The report added: “People at high risk of severe disease due to MERS-CoV should avoid close contact with animals when visiting farms or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating.

“For the general public, when visiting a farm or a barn, general hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals, avoiding contact with sick animals, and following food hygiene practices, should be adhered to.”

GCC states are taking proactive measures to fight the spread of the virus.

Saudi Arabia said today that it will seek the assistance of international pharmaceutical firms to develop an effective drug to cure the MERS virus.

Though the health authorities across the region have said that the situation is under control, an online poll in Gulf Business shows that the majority of residents are concerned about the MERS virus outbreak in the GCC.