Mers suspected in Johor village, 64 quarantined

As many as 64 residents in Kampung Bintang in Johor will be quarantined for a week after some showed symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (Mers-CoV). -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
As many as 64 residents in Kampung Bintang in Johor will be quarantined for a week after some showed symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (Mers-CoV). -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

BATU PAHAT (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - As many as 64 residents in Kampung Bintang in Johor will be quarantined for a week after some showed symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (Mers-CoV).

Some 100 villagers from the village, where the first Malaysian victim who succumbed to the virus came from, underwent a special screening to detect the virus here on Thursday.

Johor Health and Environment executive committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said a special centre has been set up in the village to screen the villagers for the virus.

"This is the first such case in Malaysia, and we take this matter seriously. That is why we are taking steps to screen the villagers to prevent the virus from spreading," he said at a press conference.

The 54-year-old victim, the first in Asia, developed respiratory complications after returning from Mecca.

He had arrived in Malaysia on March 29 after performing the umrah, and died on Apr 13 after being admitted to the Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail for three days, following complaints of fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

The Mers-CoV was first detected in the Middle East in 2012, but researchers have yet to determine its cause.

The World Health Organisation has recorded 238 cases of the disease and 92 deaths related to the Mers-CoV globally to date.