PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has confirmed that a Malaysian man, who returned from an umrah trip in Saudi Arabia, has been tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 55-year-old man, from Selangor, who arrived in the country on Dec 23, has shown symptoms of fever, cough, fatigue and leg pain, a day after returning from the trip.
“The patient had sought treatment at the nearest clinic and was treated for fever.
“On the night of Dec 28, he went to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital’s Emergency Department in Klang and was admitted for further examination and treatment.
“After taking into account his travel history, a MERS-CoV screening test was conducted at the Sungai Buloh Hospital on Saturday. The verification test conducted by the Institute of Medical Research on Sunday showed that he was positive with the disease (MERS-CoV),” he said in a statement, today.
Noor Hisham said the man was reported to be stable and had been referred to Sungai Buloh Hospital for further treatment.
He said the man told authorities that he had consumed fresh camel milk while in Mekah, and had also come into contact with camels during a visit to a camel farm.
He assured the Ministry would conduct prevention and control activities including tracking and monitoring those who had direct contact with the man such as his family members, umrah pilgrims in the same group, the staff at the health facilities that treated the man and those who were on the same flight with him.
“We have also enhanced the infection prevention and control practices among the health workers at all levels,” he said.
According to the reports by World Health Organisation (WHO), it was still uncertain as to what causes the spread of MERS-CoV.
“Activities such as touching camels, eating and drinking raw or not perfectly cooked camel products such as milk and meat, will risk a person of having MERS-CoV infection.
“WHO also stressed that the spread of the infection is still unknown and there is no vaccine for MERS-CoV infection, as well as no specific medicine to treat it."
"WHO also does not issue any travel advice or travel restrictions to the countries' involved." he said.