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Friday, 17 May 2024 15:51

To Prevent MERS-COV, Hajj Pilgrims Should Avoid Contact with Camels

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VOInews, Jakarta: Indonesian hajj pilgrims need to be aware of the transmission of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which is caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

According to a press release from the Indonesian Ministry of Health (Kemenkes), Thursday (16/5/2024) the MERS-CoV virus is sourced from camels. "MERS-CoV has been identified and associated with human infection from camel mounts in several Middle Eastern, African and South Asian countries," wrote the Indonesian Ministry of Health. 


Most confirmed cases of MERS, according to the Ministry of Health, experience severe acute respiratory syndrome. The initial symptoms most often found, namely fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some cases also have symptoms of diarrhoea and nausea or vomiting. In addition, severe complications can include pneumonia and kidney failure. 

Previously, Director of Health Quarantine Surveillance at the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) of the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Dr Achmad Farchanny Tri Adryanto, M.K.M in Jakarta, on Tuesday (14/5) said that hajj pilgrims who suffer from fevre or headache should report their condition to the Indonesian Hajj Health Workers (TKHI). "All infectious diseases due to viruses and bacteria are generally preceded by fever. It is very important, and we have also conveyed this to our hajj pilgrims, if they start to feel unwell, start to feel feverish, they must immediately report to their TKHI in the kloter to get further examination and treatment," Farchanny said.


According to Farchanny, when hajj pilgrims are examined by health workers or doctors, questions that will be explored more deeply include the history of the pilgrims' contact with camels and the history of consumption of products from camels. The potential for transmission of MERS-CoV, continued Farchanny, is mainly transmission from virus-carrying animals to humans. However, there is a possibility of transmission from human to human. "The criteria for human-to-human transmission of MERS-CoV is the first when there is close contact between the patient and his family members at home. Second, there is close contact between the patient and health workers at the hospital or health facilities," he said.


Given the potential for MERS-CoV transmission, Farchanny urged pilgrims to always take precautions. First, always wear a mask when in crowded places. Second, always implement a Clean and Healthy Lifestyle (PHBS), especially washing hands with soap or using hand sanitiser. Third, avoid contact with camels. "In addition, maintain your physical condition because Hajj is a physical act of worship. Don't forget to get enough rest, don't be forced to travel. MERS-CoV is a virus, if our immune system is good, the potential for transmission will be small," said Farchanny.


Source: Indonesian Ministry of Health

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