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Guard against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome


  • People may be infected upon exposure to animals (especially camel), environment or other confi­rmed patients (such as in a hospital setting); mode of transmission is similar to other respiratory infections such as influenza

Clinical features

  • People may present with fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
  • Most patients developed severe complications such as pneumonia and kidney failure; and also gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea and nausea/vomiting 
  • In people with weakened immune system, the disease may have atypical presentation

Preventive measures

Personal hygiene    

  • Keep hands clean. Always wash your hands
  • Clean your hands before touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover nose and mouth with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing and dispose of soiled tissue paper in a lidded rubbish bin and wash hands thoroughly
  • Build up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid alcohol consumption
  • Wear surgical mask and seek medical advice promptly if respiratory symptoms develop

Environmental hygiene    

  • Maintain good ventilation and keep our home clean
  • Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation

Travel health advice

  • Consult a health care provider at least 6 weeks before travelling to review the risk
  • Avoid going to farms, barns and markets with camels
  • Avoid contact with animals (especially camels), birds, poultry or sick people during travel
  • Wash hands regularly before and after touching animals in case of visits to farms, barns or markets with camels
  • Avoid visit to healthcare settings with MERS patients
  • Do not consume raw or undercooked animal products, including milk and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled
  • Wear surgical masks, seek medical advice if develop respiratory symptoms after return, and inform doctor of recent travel history

Centre for Health Protection

Centre for Health Protection

24-Hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health
2833 0111

Revised in February 2017

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