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A virus is haunting the Middle East – it is the virus of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers). Spreading across the region, it has caused serious illness and taken lives (Saudi Arabia reported over 414 infected and 115 dead from Mers in their latest tally).
The infection has become so severe that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has deemed it a global threat.
According to national newspaper The Guardian, a Saudi Arabian man recently travelled from his home country to the US, stopping off at London, before realising he was ill (he is currently successfully recovering). Government body Public Health England (PHE) then tracked down anyone who sat near him on the flight to ensure they weren’t infected.
Fighting the symptoms of Mers
The symptoms of Mers, a new strain of coronavirus, are similar to the flu, with carriers suffering breathing problems, coughing and fever. In its more acute form, this can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.
The good news is that Mers is difficult to catch – otherwise it would have spread more rapidly – and its effects can be avoided with basic hygiene measures.
It’s more proof that good hygiene is invaluable to staving off a large number of infections, Mers included. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling money, riding on public transport, blowing your nose and any other activity that could allow germs to multiply.
If you’re travelling to the Middle East, the PHE has recommended avoiding “unnecessary contact with camels”, which are suspected to be the originators of the disease.
Whether you’re travelling from the Middle East or lounging in a living room in Blighty, the message should be business as usual – keep your hygiene regime optimal to stop infection of any kind haunting you.
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