Sri Lankan medical experts have taken steps to conduct medical checks on passengers arriving from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) affected countries at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The Health Ministry had set up special medical units at the BIA to test all passengers coming from South Korea and West Asian countries. Reports stated that from every ten persons who contracted MERS-Co Virus at least three persons died.
Dr. Maheepala pointed out that the first confirmed case had been reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It was not certain whether the infections were due to a single zoonotic event with subsequent human-to-human transmission or whether the multiple geographic sites of infection represented multiple zoonotic events from an unknown source, he added.
The World Health Organization has announced that there is a potential danger of the virus mutating into a strain that does transmit from person-to-person. People with underlying health conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases the immuno-suppressed and the elderly should avoid any close animal contacts when visiting farms and markets, Dr. Maheepala said.
The most common symptoms of the disease were cough, cold, high fever, dysentery, vomiting and nausea. In most instances people who developed pneumonia through MERS-Co Virus were liable to die, he said. Dr. Maheepala added that “Necessary equipment with trained nursing staff are ready. The objective of the programme is to prevent the fatal virus invading Sri Lanka”.