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Men ‘at more risk from SARS-like virus’

Manama, May 23, 2013

Men are being advised to take extra precautions after it emerged they could be more at risk from the deadly SARS-like virus than women, a report said.

Men are thought to be more likely to contract the coronavirus, since they account for 79 per cent of the 44 cases globally, according to a report published in the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.

That does not include 16 patients who have already died from the illness in Saudi Arabia.

"About 79 per cent of the 44 detected with the virus globally are male," said Public Health Directorate public health consultant Dr Adel Al Sayed. "Based on this fact we can say that males are more likely to contract the virus than females."

He was speaking during a Press conference yesterday at the Al Jawhara Centre for Molecular Medicine and Inherited Disorders, Salmaniya.

Also present were ministry Under-Secretary Dr Aysha Mubarak Buaneq, assistant under-secretary for hospital affairs Dr Ameen Al Sa'ati and infection control head Dr Jameela Salman.

Officials declared Bahrain free of the virus, but reiterated that contingency plans had been activated to deal with suspected cases.

"We had two suspected cases that were kept in isolation in separate wards of Salmaniya Medical Complex," said Dr Salman. "Test results at the laboratory showed they were negative."

She added private hospitals had been instructed to alert authorities to any potential case.

"All private hospitals have to report suspected cases to the Public Health Directorate," she said.

However, she said there was currently no need to scan passengers arriving at the airport.

"At the moment the threat level is not raised to a stage where it requires screening of travellers at the airport or border," said Dr Salman.

The ministry's Public Health Director Dr Khariya Moosa said it had launched a national media campaign to create awareness and put to rest speculative reports about the virus appearing on social media.

"The national media campaign will use all forms of media and by next week, multi-language brochures will be circulated advising the public about precautionary measures against the coronavirus," said Dr Moosa.

The doctor said only suspected cases of patients admitted or referred by private hospitals for admission would undergo tests to assess whether they were carriers.

Health Promotion Directorate director Dr Amal Al Jowder advised the public to maintain hygiene at all times, including washing hands, and refrain from spreading rumours.

"People who do not have enough information tend to spread false news online and these rumours should stop," she said. "If any information is required they should contact the Health Ministry." – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Virus | Health Ministry | SARS |

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