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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates

28 May 2018

On 28 May 2018 the World Health Organisation Link reported a case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) infection in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The patient is a 78 year old man from Gayathi, UAE who has underlying medical conditions. He developed fever, cough and shortness of breath on 4 May 2018 and attended a hospital in Abu Dhabi on 13 May 2018. The patient owns a camel farm in UAE, which he visits on daily basis and also reported recent travel to Saudi Arabia.

Advice for Travellers

The risk associated with MERS-CoV to the general UK population and 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.