MERS kills man in Hofuf and infects five others in a week

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in this handout. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 October 2016

MERS kills man in Hofuf and infects five others in a week

RIYADH: With the onset of winter, fresh incidents of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are being recorded in some parts of the Kingdom, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health here on Friday.
During the past seven days, six new cases of MERS, including one death, were reported in the Kingdom.
The death was of a 73-year-old Saudi man in Hofuf who was ailing for some time in hospital, while the other five cases were those of a 53-year-old Saudi man from Abha, a 72-year-old man from Riyadh, an expatriate, 47, from Buraidah, a 73-year-old Saudi man, and an expatriate woman from Hofuf.
According to doctors, the patients in Riyadh and Abha are in critical condition getting treatment in the intensive care unit.
Since July 2012, 1,463 patients were infected in all parts of the Kingdom. This resulted in 612 deaths, 845 recoveries and five patients currently receiving treatment. During the last Islamic year which ended a month ago, there had been a total of 192 people, including 131 men, who were affected by MERS-CoV.
The month of Ramadan witnessed the peak when it recorded 47 patients in one single health facility.
Dr. Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Western Pacific, said continued vigilance for any new cases of MERS-CoV through an early detection and rapid response system in particular, is highly recommended.
Healthcare workers are further advised to practice stringent infection prevention and control measures when treating patients to protect themselves and others. This includes hand washing before and after contact with each patient, and wearing a medical mask, eye protection, gown and gloves when treating probable or confirmed MERS-CoV cases.
According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
MERS affects the respiratory system (lungs and breathing tubes). Most MERS patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. About three to four out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.
Dr. Haleem Siddiqi, a medical practitioner who has been working in the Kingdom for more than a decade, told Arab News that these incidents are post-Haj since domestic pilgrims return home with severe cough and cold. "Those who suffer from chronic diseases are susceptible hosts to this virus,” he noted, adding that the MERS virus is not seasonal.
The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.


Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photo/Shutterstock
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage

JEDDAH: Splashes of pink are appearing in Saudi Arabia’s public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening.
A number of campaigns are underway this month to support this outreach — in malls, on the street and on billboards.
Pamphlets are being handed out, videos and interactive pictures are on display, there are fundraising activities such as hiking and biking, and medical students have been talking to shoppers and passers-by as part of efforts to increase people’s knowledge.
In Jeddah there was a Tai Chi class on the city’s waterfront, headed by Amatallah Bahaziq, that was attended by female members of Bliss Runners and Bolts. Another event was a bike ride organized by Jeddah Cyclists that included men and women.
A number of major cities across the Kingdom have also seen pop-up campaigns, with specialists ready to answer questions and play a proactive role in spreading proper knowledge and information about the disease, its detection and the chances of survival when detected early.

HIGHLIGHT

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.

The Zahra Breast Cancer Association is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading organizations dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. It has been supporting cancer patients and survivors and normalizing conversations about breast cancer among the community, with a renewed emphasis during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Given the circumstances (due to the pandemic) we focused our efforts to raise awareness to the importance of early detection virtually,” a representative from the association told Arab News. “With billboards and visuals spread across Saudi cities, we’re still following through with our campaign promise to raise awareness each year and send the message across: Early detection will save your life.”
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.