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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia (Update 2)

28 Jul 2017

The Saudi Ministry of HealthLink has reported 2 new cases of MERS-CoV in the week ending 28 July 2017. Both are men: 1 aged 57 in Riyadh and 1 aged 36 in Buraidah. The Buraidah case has a history of direct contact with camels.

This brings the total of MERS-CoV cases in Saudi Arabia to 1681* (including 684 deaths) since 2012.

*Revised 7 August 2017 

Advice for Travellers

The risk associated with MERS-CoV to the general UK population remains extremely low. The risk to travellers to the Middle East remains very low.

Travellers to the Middle East or other countries reporting cases (check individual country pages on fitfortravel) are advised to:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from respiratory infections.
  • Wash-hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  • Avoid close contact with live farm or wild animals.
  • Avoid contact with camels.
  • Avoidconsumption of raw camel milk/urine, undercooked camel meat or camel products.
  • Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules, such as avoiding undercooked meats, raw fruits and vegetables unless they have been peeled, or unsafe water.
  • Adhere to respiratory hygiene measures if acute respiratory illness develops-  maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands after disposing of tissues or coughing.

Travellers to the Middle East and or other countries reporting cases (check individual country pages on fitfortravel) who develop high fever, cough or severe illness either during travel or after their return should seek medical attention and share their history of travel.

For further advice see Middle East Respiratory Syndrome