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Bahrain readies to tackle Haj flu cases

Manama, October 27, 2013

Health authorities are gearing up to receive an increasing number of flu-related cases as thousands of Haj pilgrims return to Bahrain, a report said.

Public and private hospitals have been put on high alert ahead of the anticipated patient rush, particularly as temperatures continue to drop, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

However, Health Ministry's public health director Dr Mariam Al Hajeri stressed Bahrain remains free of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

It has already claimed 60 lives globally, 51 of which were in Saudi Arabia.

"There were concerns about potential outbreak of coronavirus among Bahraini pilgrims who went to perform Haj, but with all preventive measures taken there was no single case registered," said Dr Al Hajeri.

"It was a safe Haj season for Bahraini pilgrims."

A total of 13,752 pilgrims have been recorded passing through Bahrain International Airport during the Haj season in what is one of its busiest times of the year.

The symptoms of the deadly virus include fever and cough, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

"If there is a patient showing symptoms of the coronavirus, then the hospital sends us samples for tests at our laboratories," said Dr Al Hajeri.

"As of now, we conducted hundreds of tests and they were all negative. We continue to advise the public to maintain personal hygiene like washing their hands and avoid hugging those with flu symptoms.

"I also strongly advise people with respiratory problems, high fever, cold and cough to see their doctors immediately rather than taking medications at homes for their own safety."

Contingency plans were set up earlier this year to prevent the outbreak of the virus and guidelines issued to all hospitals to report suspected cases within 72 hours. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Haj | flu |

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