MERS infection most virulent in Ramadan

A hospital employee wear as mouth and nose mask as he leaves a local hospital's emergency department, in this April 22, 2014 file photo, in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2016

MERS infection most virulent in Ramadan

RIYADH: A total of 192 people, including 131 men, were infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the last Islamic year, which ended Saturday. The rates of infection were the highest in Ramadan, when 47 patients were being treated for the infection in one single health facility at the same time.
Since July 2012, 1,457 patients have been affected by the disease across the Kingdom. This has resulted in 611 deaths and 844 recoveries, with two patients currently receiving treatment.
There are three major hospitals in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah that have been designated as centers of excellence to treat MERS patients. In addition to these facilities, the ministry has assigned 20 well-equipped hospitals across all health regions to treat MERS patients.
Shin Young-soo, WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, urged all countries to be on the lookout for any new cases of MERS through an early detection and rapid response system. He noted that healthcare workers should continue to practice stringent infection prevention and control measures when treating patients to protect themselves and others. This includes handwashing before and after consultation with each patient and wearing a medical mask, eye protection, gown and gloves when treating probable or confirmed MERS cases. Healthcare workers should also record the travel history of people showing symptoms of MERS.
The outbreak, which began in May 2015 through the spreading of a single case through a traveler from the Middle East, has remained confined to healthcare facilities. There has been no evidence of airborne transmission and sustained human-to-human transmission in any community.


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

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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.