Flu alert as killer virus deaths rise in Gulf
Manama, September 6, 2013
Vulnerable groups are being warned to report to their nearest health centre immediately if they develop flu symptoms, after a killer virus claimed another victim in the Gulf this week, a report said.
Health officials are advising people in Bahrain to take the threat of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) seriously, especially with flu season starting next month, reported the Gulf Daily News.
Pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic diseases are most at risk, said Health Ministry health promotion director Dr Amal Al Jowder.
"Bahrain is free from the novel coronavirus with not a single case registered," she said. "But that does not mean that precautionary measures should be taken lightly."
She told the GDN that with the flu season approaching people should take extra precautions.
"The elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases are among the high-risk groups to contract the virus and especially with the coronavirus cases in neighbouring countries, they should not take any chances," said Dr Al Jowder.
She stressed there were no suspected cases of the deadly virus in Bahrain, but said officials had drawn up contingency plans in the event of any outbreak.
"People should not panic as there is nothing to worry about, but if there are flu symptoms they should not ignore them and visit the hospital," she said.
Health officials will next month start screening an estimated 15,000 Bahraini pilgrims expected to travel to Saudi Arabia during the Haj season.
The Bahrain Haj medical team will be carrying more than 300 types of medicines to counter any threat of the virus and help pilgrims.
Private hospitals must report all suspected cases of the coronavirus to a ministry hotline and submit a written report within 24 hours.
Health officials have to inform the World Health Organisation (WHO) of any confirmed case.
Symptoms include fever, cough and breathing difficulties, but there is no specific treatment or vaccination.
According to the WHO, the total number of MERS-CoV cases globally since last September is 108 - including 50 deaths.
Earlier this week, a Qatari woman died after being infected with the virus. Two more people, both Qataris aged 29 and 59, were also treated for the infection in Doha.
The symptoms of the virus include fever and cough, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. – TradeArabia News Service
More Health & Environment Stories
- The age of genomic medicine dawns, finally
- Over 300 exhibitors for Saudi healthcare event
- Mackeen unveils document management solution
- Seha opens new clinics in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain
- SARS virus claims one more victim in Saudi
- New support group comes to overeaters' rescue
- RAK Hospital launches urinary clinic for women
- NBAD backs Emiratis on Antarctica trip
- Cut sugar intake drastically urges WHO
- Al khaliji to fund Qatar recycling plant
- Qatar researcher in 360km breast cancer run
- New facilitator to open in DHCC
- Many countries lack capacity to prevent hearing loss
- QUIT NOW: Passive smoking hurts kids' arteries
- San Francisco to ban plastic water bottles
- GSK wins home toothpaste award for Sensodyne
- E-integration vital to GCC healthcare industry
- Fakih IVF unveils two new genetic tests
- 2 die from H1N1 in Oman
- Al Noor Hospitals targets domestic growth
- Medical panel on the way in Bahrain
- 40pc of UAE adults ‘have hypertension’
- Saudi diabetics urged to stay away from camels
- GCC readies plan to fight heart diseases
- Bahrain opens sickle cell hospital
- Hazardous waste focus for Oman summit
- Infectious viruses to be tracked by satellite in UAE
- Mafraq Hospital names new surgery chief
- Saudi health ministry seals BMJ partnership
- Need for medical simulation training highlighted