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International SOS sees surge in MERS-CoV advice requests

Over the last two weeks, 5 percent of the calls received by the International SOS Assistance Centre in Dubai have been related to MERS-CoV. Many of these calls have been requests for specific information relating to the best precautions against contracting the virus.

Dr. Salwan Ibrahim, Medical Director Medical Services for the Middle East said, "Alongside the surge in MERS-CoV cases that occurred in April 2014, we can see that organizations are beginning to take the necessary precautions to fulfil their duty of care to their employees living in and travelling to the region.

“Although there is no indication from the authorities that MERS Co-V can be spread easily from human to human, clients are being proactive in working with International SOS to review their outbreak business continuity and pandemic plans."

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as ‘novel coronavirus,’ was first identified in humans in 2012. It is from the same family of viruses as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the coronavirus family. Most cases have originated from the Middle East and the virus has been linked to camels. There is no specific treatment and no vaccine available.

Dr Salwan continued, "We are tracking developments on a daily basis and use the latest technology to monitor the number of employees operating in the region. This enables us to provide relevant information to those who need it most."


•Date: 14th May 2014 • Middle East / World •Type: Article • Topic: Pandemic planning

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