Millennium Post

Govt wakes up to MERS threat, asks states to keep vigil

With the spread of the SARS-like Middle East coronavirus in many countries, the Centre has asked all states for increasing surveillance and keeping a close vigil on those travelling to Gulf nations. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can cause fever, coughing and pneumonia. It is related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and its symptoms are also similar to H1N1 or Swine flu.

The virus has already killed more than 45 people across the world and its impact is more visible in the middle east countries. The largest number of deaths have taken place in Saudi Arabia. It has sparked fears of a SARS-like outbreak in Asia which left 800 people dead in 2003. So far, no case of MERS has been reported in India. In a circular issued to all states, the Health Ministry has said that the virus has become a global threat and patients with travel history to the Middle East, China and Taiwan who show signs of respiratory discomfort should be reported and kept under surveillance. The Ministry has also asked the state health officials under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) to keep a vigil. with WHO.
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