Vietnam health official tells hospitals to isolate suspected MERS patients

By Lien Chau, Thanh Nien News

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A medical quarantine team for measuring temperatures of visitors at Da Nang International Airport. Photo: Dieu Hien A medical quarantine team for measuring temperatures of visitors at Da Nang International Airport. Photo: Dieu Hien

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People entering Vietnam from countries with MERS and showing signs of respiratory problems, high fever and coughing must be examined in isolation, a health official said.
Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Ministry of Health’s examination and treatment department, said at a meeting Tuesday that hospitals need to set up examination rooms just for suspected MERS patients to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
The hospitals should keep such patients completely isolated, he warned.
Vietnam has raised an alert over the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) given the continuing epidemic in South Korea, the largest outside Saudi Arabia.
South Korea Wednesday confirmed 162 cases including 20 deaths since the first person fell sick earlier last month after returning from a business trip to the Middle East.
MERS-Cov was first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 and has infected more than 1,300 people, killing 465, in 26 countries.
It falls in the same group of viruses as the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which killed 800 people around the world in 2002-03.
Vietnam has not reported any infections of MERS yet. Several suspected cases were tested but they all proved negative.
The department has set up a hotline at 098 437 1919 for information related to the disease.

Hanoi’s Health Department is offering MERS consultation in English at the hotline 096 908 2115 and in Korean at 094 939 6115.

It is also distributing leaflets about prevention measures for the disease in English and Korean.

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