Malaysian man tests positive for MERS-CoV infection after pilgrimage

PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) - A 55-year-old man was confirmed positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection after returning home from his umrah pilgrimage, said Malaysia's Health Ministry on Monday (Jan 1).

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdulla said the man who hails from Selangor had symptoms of fever, cough, lethargy and aching feet as soon as he arrived home on Dec 23.

The man received treatment for flu at a nearby clinic a day after arriving home and was warded when he sought treatment at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang on Dec 28, he added.

"Taking into account that the man was just back from performing umrah, a MERS-CoV screening was conducted on the patient at Sungai Buloh Hospital on Dec 30 which was confirmed positive by the Medical Research Institute on Dec 31," he said in a statement on Monday.

He said the patient was referred to Sungai Buloh Hospital for further treatment and his condition was reported to be stable.

Following this, he said, prevention and control measures were taken including tracking and monitoring those who had been in contact with the patient including his family members, pilgrims who were in the same group as well as health and airline staff who had come into direct contact with him.

To prevent the spread of MERS-CoV infection, Noor Hisham advised those leaving for their umrah pilgrimage or visiting countries in the Middle East to practise high levels of personal hygiene by washing their hands frequently with soap and water especially after coughing, sneezing or shaking hands with others.

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