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Manchester Hospital on lockdown after two reported MERS viruses

British Hospital On Lockdown With Deadly Virus

Manchester Royal Infirmary closed its Accident and Emergency department this afternoon when discovering two people with the deadly Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus.

Ambulances were diverted for several hours due to one of the patients being rushed into hospital with the killer MERS disease.

The disease was first discovered in the Middle East in 2012 and since then, the MERS virus have caused nearly 1,200 cases reported and 465 deaths.

MERS is a virus which is passed on to humans by camels. However it is not certain whether the victims are returned from somewhere abroad.

Due to the disease being highly contagious, the two victims of the MERS disease have been put into isolation to prevent spreading.

A spokesman from the Manchester Hospital states: “We would like to reassure our patients and the general public that there is no significant risk to public health. Manchester Royal Infirmary accident and emergency department will be closed until further notice while further investigations take place.”

Despite the majority of cases being reported in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Ermirates and surrounding nations, cases have also been reported in Britain, France, Holland, Austria and Italy.

Symptoms start of flu-like, however victims can then suffer pneumonia and kidney failure. Nearly 40 per cent of those contaminated result in death.

Public Health England reassured the public that there is currently no risk of catching MERS from another human.

Aware of the two victims being tested for the MERS virus, the north-west deputy director of health protection, Dr Rosemary McCann, says “although cases continue to be reported from the Middle East, no new cases of Mers-CoV have been detected in the UK since February 2013. There is presently no evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission of Mers-CoV, and the risk of contracting infection in the UK remains very low.”

McCann continues: “the risk to UK residents travelling to Middle Eastern countries may be slightly higher than within the UK but is still very low. Limited onward transmission in South Korea has been associated with healthcare settings, and the risk to UK tourists visiting South Korea is also considered to be very low.”

Britons going on holiday this summer were warned about picking up the virus earlier this year. Ensuring tourists were wary visiting the Middle East and going on camel rides.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) express it is not yet fully understood how people become infected with MERS. They say: “It is believed that humans can be infected through direct or indirect contact with infected dromedary camels in the Middle East. Strains of Mers-CoV have been identified in camels in several countries, including Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Henna Sharma

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