All Precautions Taken for MERS

All Precautions Taken  for MERSAll Precautions Taken  for MERS

W ith the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in South Korea and the high mortality rate of the disease, Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education has taken all precautions to prevent the disease from entering the country.

“The border surveillance system in the country is remarkably sophisticated. All passengers who enter Iran from a MERS-affected country are thoroughly screened. Suspected cases have to undergo more accurate tests,” said Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Health Ministry.

Gouya also said there is no direct flight between Iran and South Korea, ISNA reported.

Last year there were six cases of MERS in the country and “currently we are fully geared up to deal with any contingency,” he added.

MERS initially used to be transmitted from infected animals to humans, but now spreads from person to person, as is the case in South Korea.

A 68-year-old South Korean man returning from the Middle East in May was the first to contract the disease. The delay in diagnosis led to its spread in the hospital where he was being treated. So far, 15 people have been killed by the virus and 145 individuals are infected in South Korea, Gouya said, adding that early diagnosis plays an important role in preventing the spread of the disease.

If a person experiences “symptoms of a suspicious nature” after returning from a MERS-infected country, health tests should be undertaken without delay. Also, they should be moved to quarantine, till laboratory tests confirm the absence of the deadly disease, he said.

MERS has a high mortality rate of roughly 35% and there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for it.