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Vietnam tightens airport screening for MERS

by Dtinews04 June 2015 Last updated at 14:47 PM

(photo: Dan Tri)
(photo: Dan Tri)

VTV.vn - Vietnam has increased medical screening for passengers from nine countries in the Middle East and South Korea as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) spreads into Asia.

A flight from Korea and Bahrain arrived at Noi Bai Airport on June 3 and 203 passengers were screened and will be tracked for14 days.

Nguyen Tien Hoa, head of Hanoi Center for International Health Quarantine, said passengers from Middle East countries had been screened for more than a year.

But the incidence of MERS in South Korea, from where there are 10 flights a day, with about 2,000 passengers, has led to an increase in vigilance.

"We had to increase our personnel. But no matter the difficulty, we'll do our best to prevent MERS from entering Vietnam," Hoa said.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, "We have to learn a lesson from South Korea case. The patient with MERS infected 18 others in just 10 days. The case in China was caused because one passenger was not monitored the full 14 days before travelling to another country."

Middle East respiratory syndrome is caused by corona virus (MERS-CoV), which originated in Saudi Arabia and spread to many countries including the US, South Korea and China. Since 2012, the World Health Organisation has reported 1,156 confirmed cases and 434 deaths.

The virus is spread through close contact. Infected people develop severe acute respiratory illness, such as high fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

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