Health official assures coronavirus is non-transmissible between humans



Mohamed Rasooldeen

Published — Wednesday 7 November 2012

Last update 7 November 2012 7:38 am

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RIYADH:A senior official from the Ministry of Health (MOH) stated on Monday that there is no cause for alarm regarding the detection of a coronavirus case in Riyadh, early this week. 
Undersecretary to the Ministry of Health for Public Health Dr. Ziad Al-Memish told a news conference in Riyadh on Monday that people do not need to worry about the outbreak of coronavirus. He further added that the virus is not transmissible from one person to the other. However, people need to be made aware of the presence of the virus, to take preventive measures to safeguard themselves and their families. 
On Sunday, the MOH announced that it diagnosed a resident in Riyadh as a positive carrier of coronavirus. The tests were confirmed when the sample from the patient was sent to a reputable overseas laboratory. 
A team of specialists in relevant fields also took part in the press conference. 
Speaking to the press, Al-Memish said that upon detecting the virus, the MOH took all preventive measures to contain the virus. “The patient is being treated according to the scientific measures spelt out by the World Health Organization (WHO), and has shown positive indications of recovery. 
“We are also monitoring the virus in all parts of the Kingdom through the regional directorates of the MOH,” he added. 
Al-Memish, who is also the chairman of the National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases, said that only a few people in the world have been diagnosed with the virus. 
He further added that the Kingdom has coordinated with international health bodies, including the WHO, to stay up to date with the latest developments concerning coronavirus and other viruses. He also pointed out, that the ministry set up a national committee, comprising specialized consultants representing health sectors in all relevant fields.  
At the beginning of Haj season, coronavirus was detected within two patients in the Kingdom. 
Coronaviruses are considered to be one of the common etiological agents of the common cold. Symptoms of the virus include a runny nose, mild sore throat, cough, headache, low fever and chills. The virus can also cause respiratory, intestinal and neurological ailments. Officials advise people to contact their doctors if the symptoms persist for more than two days.
The official also reassured that coronaviruses are treatable and most patients recover completely without enduring any further complications after receiving the needed supportive therapy. 
Al-Memish said that the Kingdom’s health officials are well equipped and experienced in dealing with infectious diseases. He further stressed the importance of early detection to ensure a quick recovery. He pointed out that 95 percent of the patients recover fast without any problems. 
Dr. Ali Bin Mansour Al-Barrak, member of the National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases, stated that the MOH has circulated a memo outlining the signs and symptoms of the disease, to all the hospitals in the Kingdom. 
Sami Ben Hussein Hajar, a consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, added that so far the virus has not afflicted any children in the Kingdom. 
The virus can be fatal, especially among the elderly and in patients with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions, as well as immunity compromised patients. 

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