TZ takes MERS virus precautions

Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has warned the public of a possible outbreak of a possible outbreak of a new viral respiratory disease caused by MERS Corona Virus which has so far spread to over a dozen countries around the world.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS –CoV) is a viral respiratory disease that was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and the Corona virus is suspected to originate from camels.

A media communiqué by the ministry says “there were no patients having diagnosed with the deadly virus, but the government was taking all possible precautions.”

“We strongly urge the general public to remain calm. We have no such cases yet,” the statement reads.

The disease is transmitted from human to human by coughing or sneezing without protective mask. It may also be transmitted by touching infected areas.

The symptoms include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, Pneumonia and diarrhea among other symptoms. The Incubation period for the virus is 2 to 10 days.

The disease has so far been reported European Countries like France, Germany and United Kingdom while in Africa Tunisia registered cases in 2012 and April this year.

The ministry confirmed in the statement that it has not banned international travel, but stand to advise people departing to the Far East, where the disease was discovered to be cautious.

The Philippines and Malaysia, two Southeast Asian countries, have recorded MERS-CoV infections among their citizens who have visited the Middle East.

Preliminary reports from the ministry indicate so far camels in the in Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were confirmed to harbour the viruses that has claimed lives.

According to the statement, in May this year, Korea had registered majority of MERS cases. In Thailand and China out of 167 case 24 people had died.

To prevent the spread of the disease in the country, the ministry has announced to increased checkups and monitoring and the nation’s five influenza sentinel surveillance sites.

It has also released ‘standard case’ definition to enable people to identify the disease and symptom as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health experts have also been deployed at border posts to monitor people entering the country for possible symptoms.

“It’s good to warn us but I don’t think taking Ebola-like precautions is the way to go.” James Mazembe told this website.

As it was with the Ebola virus, testing equipment have been placed at places like airports to help experts to detect possible cases.