MOH News
Dr. Al-Sherbini: Symptoms of Respiratory Viruses and Coronavirus Are Similar
24 February 2015
The Consultant in Communicable and Epidemic Diseases, Dr. Nesreen Al-Sherbini, confirmed that the laboratory test is the only way to ensure infection with the Coronavirus, and there are no symptoms that can differentiate between the respiratory viruses such as influenza and the Coronavirus, stressing that all symptoms are similar.
 
She added that the Coronavirus is transmitted from an infected person to those in direct contact with him through droplets of coughing or sneezing, or through touching the membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth after touching places contaminated with the patient's droplets. Therefore, the contacts must be put under observation after the patient is isolated from them and be taken for medical examination, as quickly as possible, upon appearance of certain symptoms such as an increase in temperature or symptoms of influenza or pneumonia like dyspnea or chest pain and the like.
 
This came during Dr. Al-Sherbini's visit to the Ministry of Health (MOH) National Center for Media and Health Awareness in the context of the awareness campaign about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
 
Dr. Al- Sherbini pointed out that many studies support the idea that the camel is one of the sources of Corona and the transmission of the virus happens through the respiratory tract or the camels' droplets and secretions at the most, and not through drinking their milk. However, Dr. Al- Sherbini advised persons to drink pasteurized milk and dairy products only, and if they have to drink the milk directly from the camel or any other chattels, it must be well-boiled.
 
Also, those in close contact with the camels should take necessary precautions by wearing a face mask (covering the nose and eyes) especially when approaching camels closely or being exposed to their secretions, droplets or hair.
 
She blamed the high rates of infection among those with chronic diseases since the appearance of the virus, as per the recorded cases, for the general health condition of patients with chronic diseases and their weak immunity, which make them prone to infection more than others.
 
It is noteworthy that the National Center for Media and Health Awareness will continue hosting a number of physicians and specialists from all health sectors until 6/5/1436H, via the Center's toll free number: 8002494444 and the MOH's Twitter account: @saudimoh, to respond to callers' inquiries and answer their questions vis-à-vis Coronavirus. The Center will host tomorrow, Wednesday, Dr. Moqbel Al-Hedaithi, the Consultant in Communicable Diseases, from 1-3 pm.
 
 
 



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