No MERS cases found in Myanmar

Surveillance activities on infectious disease like MERS-CoV virus being carried out at international airport by well-trained staff.—Photo: https://www.facebook.com/MyanmarCDC
Surveillance activities on infectious disease like MERS-CoV virus being carried out at international airport by well-trained staff.—Photo: https://www.facebook.com/MyanmarCDC

Yangon, 21 June — No suspected cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been reported in Myanmar despite outbreaks of the potentially fatal virus in neighbouring countries, Dr Soe Lwin Nyein, Director-General of the Department of Public Health under the Health Ministry, said on Sunday.
MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is believed that humans can be infected through direct or indirect contact with infected dromedary camels in the Middle East.
To prevent any outbreak of MERS in Myanmar, the health ministry is monitoring every point of entry into the country for the virus, especially in Yangon, Mandalay, the capital Nay Pyi Taw and NyaungU international airports, Dr Soe Lwin Nyein said.  “Waibargi Specialist Hospital in Yangon, Kandaw Nadi Hospital in Mandalay, a 1,000-bed hospital in Nay Pyi Taw and NyaungU Hospital are on call for treatment of suspected patients,” he said, adding that the country’s national health laboratory in Yangon can provide test results for the virus in 24 hours.
Currently, there is no cure or specific treatment for MERS but the virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact.
Most infected patients developed a severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, Prof Dr Zaw Lynn Aung said.
Doctors advise people, particularly healthcare providers, to wash their hands often with soap to reduce the spread of virus infection.
A total of 26 countries including South Korea, China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand have reported cases of MERS. Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS have died.—GNLM

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