Other countries outside the Middle East have also reported imported cases from returned travellers. All cases have either lived in or travelled to the Middle East, or had close contact with travellers returning from these areas. There have been no cases in Australia to date.
What are the symptoms and who is at risk?
Reducing the risk of exposure
The WHO advises that people at potentially higher risk of severe disease due to MERS-CoV should take appropriate precautions when visiting farms, barn areas or market environments where camels are present in MERS-affected countries. Appropriate precautions might include avoiding contact with camels, good hand hygiene, and avoiding drinking raw milk or eating food that may be contaminated with animal secretions or products unless they are properly washed, peeled or cooked.
All travellers should adhere to general hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals, avoiding contact with sick animals, and following food hygiene practices when visiting a farm of barn in MER-CoV affected countries.
Seek immediate medical attention if you feel unwell with symptoms similar to MERS-CoV infection while travelling or on your return to Australia. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider that you have travelled to a region where MERS-CoV is known to occur. Avoid close contact with people who are ill with these symptoms.