A senior official from the Ministry of Health said yesterday that people should take extra precautions against a new form of the coronavirus, which was recently found in the Kingdom among some patients.
The virus was diagnosed in three people causing the death of two of them; the third is still undergoing treatment.
“There is no cause for alarm about the coronavirus. However, people should be aware of its presence and they should take preventive measures to keep the disease away from them,” Undersecretary to the Ministry of Health for Public Health Ziad Al-Memish told Arab News yesterday.
With the changing weather at this time of the year and the start of the Haj season, a new strain of coronavirus has been detected in three patients.
Coronaviruses are considered one of the common etiological agents of the common cold.
Al-Memish said the first case was a Saudi patient diagnosed in one of the hospitals in Jeddah; the second was also a Saudi patient and the third a patient from a GCC country. Two were diagnosed with the illness in London. Two patients died and the third is under treatment.
The official said coronaviruses are well known and most of the patients recover completely with no complications after receiving therapy. He pointed out that 95 percent of the patients recover quickly without complications.
The official said the symptoms of the virus include runny nose, general feeling of illness, mild sore throat, cough, headache, low fever and chills. It can also cause respiratory, intestinal and neurological illness. He advised people to contact their doctors if the symptoms continue for more than two days. Such patients should take Vitamin C as a remedial measure, he added.
“A few patients are infected with this novel strain; complications can develop affecting the respiratory system and the kidneys. It can cause death especially among the elderly and in patients with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions and among immuno-compromised patients.”
The undersecretary said that such negative occurrences happen rarely and emphasized that there are no reasons for concern.That may be, but weekend announcements from HPA and WHO, and long articles like this one in a country with controlled media, offer at least reasons for raised eyebrows.