Via the Centre for Health Protection: Six additional overseas cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome closely monitored by DH.
The Department of Health (DH) is today (January 1) closely monitoring six additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) (five cases) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (one case).
According to the WHO, the first case in the KSA is a man aged 57 with underlying illnesses who is now under intensive care. The second case is a male patient aged 73 who died on December 17, 2013. Both patients are from the KSA's capital with no travel history. No known exposures to animals or confirmed patients have been identified. The remaining three cases, including two men and one woman, are healthcare workers who are asymptomatic.
Regarding the case in the UAE, the female patient aged 59 is currently hospitalised under isolation. She is asymptomatic with no history of contact with animals or travel history. She is the wife of the male patient aged 68 earlier confirmed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the man earlier died.
This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 176, including 74 deaths.
"The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH will seek more information on the cases from the WHO and the relevant health authorities. The CHP will stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments of this disease," a spokesman for the DH said.
Locally, the CHP will continue its surveillance mechanism with public and private hospitals, practising doctors and the airport for any suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
"No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman remarked.
"We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly involving patients with travel history to the Middle East, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman stressed.