WHO Alerts Nations on Respiratory Infections.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged all countries to maintain surveillance for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections and to carefully review any unusual pattern.




This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Seyi Soremekun, the UN spokesperson in Nigeria, in Abuja on Tuesday.




The statement advised all health care providers to be on alert and also maintain vigilance to forestall the outbreak of such diseases.




The WHO said that two laboratory findings confirmed cases of such infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus from Kuwait.




Corona viruses are a large family of viruses that include viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from common cold to SARS.




Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases.




The first patient, the statement said, was a 47 year-old man, who became ill on Oct. 30 and was hospitalised on Nov. 7. The statement, however, said the patient was in critical condition.




The second patient, according to the statement, was a 52-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, who became ill on Nov. 7 and was hospitalized. He was also said to be in a critical state.




The WHO said it was informed of a total of 157 laboratories that confirmed cases of the infection with such infections including 66 deaths.




“Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory diseases as their primary illness.




“Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome with shock.




“It is possible that severely immuno-compromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms,” the statement said.




The statement reminded health care providers of the importance of a systematic implementation of infection prevention and control.




“Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with such infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors,” it said.




It also said that all member states were reminded to promptly assess and notify the WHO of any new case of infection.




This, according to the statement, is along with information about potential exposure that has resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course.




It said that investigations into the source of exposure would be initiated to identify the mode of exposure, so that further transmission of the virus could be prevented.




The statement also said that the WHO did not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.


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