Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Saudi homes in on camels in bid to combat MERS  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 12/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Saudi authorities have issued fresh warnings on how to handle the desert kingdom's wealth of camels, thought to be the source of the mysterious MERS coronavirus in the Gulf state.

The Middle East Respiratory System has now killed 147 people out of 491 infected in Saudi Arabia since it first appeared in 2012, with cases in the kingdom accounting for the vast majority registered globally.

With scientists still struggling to understand the illness and no vaccine or antiviral treatments available to combat its spread, Saudi authorities have introduced new guidelines to try to stem the trickle of new cases reported nearly every day.

The agriculture ministry has urged Saudis handling camels to wear masks and gloves to avoid catching the disease, in a statement published in local media.

The warning came after scientific studies commissioned by the health ministry suggested a connection between camels and the virus.

MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

Like SARS, it appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

- Virus common in camels -

Earlier research had shown the virus was "extraordinarily common" in camels for at least 20 years and may have been passed directly from the animals to humans.

Camel meat must be cooked and its milk boiled before consumption, the agriculture ministry said, echoing recommendations from acting health minister Adel Fakieh following a visit by World Health Organisation experts last week.

Former health minister Abdullah al-Rabiah warned last month against assuming that camels were behind the virus, insisting that "one should not jump to conclusions".

He was dismissed days later on April 21 without official explanation and replaced by Labour Minister Fakieh who immediately promised "transparency" in providing the public and media with information about MERS.

The ministry now publishes a daily detailed bulletin on its website updating the numbers of MERS infections and deaths.

Last week, Fakieh also announced the sacking of the head of Jeddah's King Fahd Hospital, where a spike in MERS infections among medical staff sparked panic among the public.

After its five-day mission to Jeddah, the WHO pinpointed breaches in its "recommended infection prevention and control measures" as being partly responsible for an increase in infections in the Red Sea city.

- No changes for pilgrimage -

Amid rising concerns over MERS's spread, the WHO is preparing for an emergency meeting to discuss the virus -- the fifth time the UN health agency's emergency committee has met about the mystery coronavirus.

Months before the annual hajj pilgrimage to the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina, the number of reported cases is climbing steadily.

Jeddah will be the main point of entry for pilgrims from overseas when they arrive in September.

Pilgrims still trickle into Mecca for the lesser pilgrimage -- the umra -- that can be performed at any time, especially during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts in July.

Saudi Arabia's hajj ministry has not yet taken any special measures related to MERS.

The WHO also said it does not advise special screening at points of entry, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions, "including for upcoming pilgrimage travel to Saudi Arabia".

Fakieh has announced an awareness campaign to help stop the disease's spread, and doctors, academics and journalists have launched initiatives of their own to encourage the public to adopt new hygiene measures recommended by the government.

"The campaign targets public gatherings, hospitals, and markets... to raise awareness among people," said Alia Banaja, who runs a campaign in Jeddah, where some people have started wearing masks, a measure only recommended in hospitals.

MERS cases have also been reported in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and even the United States, with most involving people who had travelled to Saudi Arabia or worked there, often as medical staff.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 May 22 2015 - Arab info. ministers agree to promote culture of toleranceKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Arab information ministers' council concluded its 46th session on Thursday with a final statement stressing the important role of mass media in promoting the ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwait, Peru eye closer diplomatic ties, cooperationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Head of the Kuwait's fourth parliamentary friendship committee MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah met with President of the Congress of the Republic of Peru Ana Maria ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwaiti-Moroccan ties based on shared values - OfficialKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Advisor to Kuwait's Amiri Diwan Mohammad Difullah Sharrar said his country and the Kingdom of Morocco share identical cultural and historical values that formed a ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwaiti play wins gold at Free Theater FestivalKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Kuwaiti play 'Hawel Marrah Okhra' (Try Again) won the golden award of the 10th Free Theater Festival on Thursday evening.The silver and bronze medals went to ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwaitis proud of nat'l pavilion at Expo Milan 2015Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The spouse of Kuwait's General Consul in Milan and North Italy, Abdul-Nasser Bou-khaddour, praised here role of the Kuwaiti pavilion organizers in Expo Milan ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwaiti Jiu Jitsu team participates in West Asia tournamentKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team will head to Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday to take part in the three-day West Asia tournament.The Kuwaiti team includes seven ...

 May 22 2015 - Kuwait ranks 4th at Fazza wheelchair basketball tourneyKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's national team lost their last game to Morocco's 44-71 at the the Seventh Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, Dubai 2015, Wednesday ...

 May 22 2015 - OCA cancels Sri Lanka's hosting of Asian Youth Games 2017Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah announced Thursday that the Council has withdrawn the 3rd Asian Youth Games in 2017 ...

 May 22 2015 - Chinese peacekeeping troops head for LebanonKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) A new batch of Chinese peacekeeping troops and a 30-member medical team left China for Lebanon Tuesday for peacekeeping mission, state-run China Central ...

 May 22 2015 - Seven airstrikes in Syria, 14 in Iraq target ISIL - coalitionKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL, conducting seven airstrikes in Syria and 14 in Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force announced on Tuesday."In ...

more...


 






Google

Internatinal Property Show

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help