MOH UPDATE ON THE MERS SITUATION IN SOUTH KOREA

           The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been monitoring the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) situation in South Korea closely. All cases of transmission thus far can be traced to hospital contacts or family members. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) risk assessment[1] remains unchanged in that there is no evidence of sustained community transmission. WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry and does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

2          However, should there be evidence of transmission in the community in South Korea, or any major breaches in its health measures, MOH will consider extending the current temperature screening measures at air checkpoints to passengers arriving from South Korea.

3          MOH again advises those who intend to travel to South Korea and the Middle East that they should maintain their vigilance and adopt the health precautions, such as maintaining personal hygiene and washing their hands frequently. They may also consider wearing a surgical mask in crowded places and avoid close contact with persons suffering from acute respiratory infections. They should avoid contact with camels and other live farm or wild animals. Travellers should also avoid consuming unpasteurised milk, undercooked meats, raw fruits and vegetables or unsafe water.

4          In addition, MOH advises that they should avoid visiting healthcare institutions in South Korea, unless it is necessary to do so.

5          When travelling in, or if they had recently visited a MERS-CoV affected area, individuals should wear a surgical mask and seek medical attention promptly if they become unwell with fever and cough. They should inform the doctor of the areas that they have travelled to. Truthful declaration of travel history is important.

6          As the situation is evolving, Singaporeans should refer to MOH’s webpage on MERS-CoV for the latest health advisory.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

6 JUNE 2015

[1] “Summary and risk assessment of current situation in Republic of Korea and China”, WHO, 3 June 2015

 

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