Conference abstract

Corona virus during pilgrimage: the Saudi experience in controlling Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:4(9).08 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.4.9.443

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Keywords: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS-CoV, pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia
Abstract

Corona virus during pilgrimage: the Saudi experience in controlling Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection

Ali Alkinani1,&, Ahmed Alamri1, Yaser Turkistani1

1Medical Services Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

&Corresponding author
Ali Alkinani, Medical Services Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Introduction: : coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infectious range syndromes from common cold to Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a strain of coronavirus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012; in addition, this strain caused outbreaks of a SARS-like illness in the Middle East called Novel Coronavirus 2012 or Simply Novel Coronavirus.

Methods: review of the medical history of Saudi Arabia concerning this disease.

Results: according to the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH), 749 cases were identified with (MERS-CoV) infection in 2012. About 317 cases, (42%) died as a result of that infection. Because (MERS-CoV) was first identified in Saudi Arabia, health authorities; particularly, Saudi MOH exerted great efforts to control the outbreak of the infection. Other health authorities such as Medical Services of Armed Forces, Health Services of National Guard, Ministry of Interior; as well as private hospitals were also involved in limitation of the outbreak of that infection. Moreover, Saudi health authorities worked with international health such as World Health Organization (WHO). Local and international clinical and research experts were also involved; furthermore, daily co-ordination with the WHO to was performed to ensure that the most recent findings and best practices are being shared among the countries as a global effort to control the outbreak. The work of the task teams were formed to control the situation and isolation of infected people and to speed up the screening of suspected cases.

Conclusion: furthermore, necessary precautions have been taken before the seasons of Hajj and Umrah, which increases the congestion of pilgrims from different part of the world at specific place and time. In addition, the control of the foci of infection of that might be caused by animals have been made. However, the Saudi government exceeded the risk of an outbreak of the disease since the month of August 2014 which confirmed the Kingdom clear from (MERS-CoV) perfectly with taking all the necessary precautions if that situation recurrence.