Updates on Measures Againsts MERS-CoV

           The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been closely watching developments of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including the ongoing outbreak in South Korea and the situation in China.  As of 3 June 2015, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 30 cases of MERS-CoV infection. While three were cases of tertiary transmission, all transmission has been limited to household and hospital contacts and were epidemiologically linked to the index case. There is therefore no evidence of sustained community transmission in South Korea.  

2          All our hospitals have been reminded to remain vigilant and to stand ready to screen and isolate any suspect cases. Currently, patients with clinical signs/symptoms of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness, and travel history to the Middle East in the two weeks before onset, will be referred to our public and private hospitals for further evaluation to exclude MERS-CoV infection. We are extending a similar regime to patients from South Korea. In addition, persons with a fever and respiratory illness of any severity who had visited a healthcare facility while travelling in the Middle East or South Korea will also be similarly referred.  

3          Temperature screening at air checkpoints has been in place since 18 May 2014 for passengers arriving from the Middle East. Health advisories also remain in place at our border checkpoints for travellers coming from and going to areas affected by MERS-CoV. Screening may be ramped up to include screening for passengers arriving from South Korea if there is evidence of sustained community spread.  

HEALTH ADVISORY

4              Members of public may wish to refer to the MOH webpage on MERS-CoV for the latest health advisory. To reduce the risk of exposure to MERS-CoV, we have been advising and continue to urge Singaporeans travelling to affected areas to maintain vigilance and adopt the following health precautions when overseas:

  • Observe good personal hygiene at all times;
  • Practise frequent hand washing (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are soiled);
  • You may consider wearing a surgical mask in crowded places and avoid close contact with persons suffering from acute respiratory infections (e.g. someone who is coughing);
  • Avoid contact with camels and other live farm or wild animals, including not visiting camel farms. If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap.
  • Adopt good food safety and hygiene practices and avoid consuming unpasteurised milk, undercooked meats, raw fruits and vegetables (unless they have been peeled), or unsafe water.
  • Individuals should wear a surgical mask and seek medical attention promptly if they become unwell with fever and cough while travelling in or if they had recent travel history (within 2 weeks) to any areas reporting human cases of MERS-CoV. They should inform the doctor of the areas that they have travelled to.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

3 JUNE 2015

    Print  
  Share  
  Return to Top