WHO issues travel advice on MERS-CoV for Haj pilgrims

Geneva: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued travel advice on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) for pilgrims going for Umra and Hajj to Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

The MERS-CoV has affected nine countries to date, Xinhua reported.

In a guidance to countries for the prevention, detection and management of imported cases of MERS-CoV, the WHO said that at this time, the risk to an individual pilgrim of contracting MERS-CoV is considered very low.

In the advisory, the WHO does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions or entry screening.

It also encouraged countries to raise awareness to reduce the risk of MERS-CoV infection among pilgrims and those associated with their travel, including transport operators and ground staff, and about self-reporting of illness by travellers.

The WHO recommended that travellers who develop a significant acute respiratory illness with fever and cough - severe enough to interfere with usual daily activities - should be advised to minimise their contact with others to keep from infecting them.

They should also report to medical staff accompanying the group or to local health services.


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