England fans returning from the World Cup have been warned of the risks of bringing the deadly camel flu home.
Doctors have been put on alert at signs of the deadly flu among Three Lions fans who have returned from Qatar.
The UK Health Security Agency (HSA) has urged clinicians to monitor people with fever and difficulty breathing.
MERS is far deadlier than Covid 19 – more than a third of people who catch it die compared to less than 4% of people with Covid.
HAS has sent out an information note, according to The Sun, which states: “Clinicians and public health teams should be specifically alert to the possibility of MERS in travelers returning from the World Cup.
“The risk of infection for UK residents is very low but may be higher in those who are exposed to specific risk factors in the region – such as camels.
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“MERS can be contracted through close contact with camels or through the consumption of camel products, for example unpasteurized camel milk.”
It also warns against “person-to-person transmission” and says there have already been two cases reported in Qatar this year, both of which had been exposed to camels.
The routine briefing note was sent to directors of public health and directors of infection prevention and control across the NHS as the group stage reached its peak.
There were 2,600 cases between April 2012 and October 2022 in 12 countries in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
First identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus.
It is a zoonotic virus, that is, it is transmitted between animals and humans. It is related to dromedaries or one-humped camels in several countries of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Cameline flu is considered a deadlier cousin of COVID-19, having killed up to a third of those infected with it. About 35% of cases reported to WHO have died.
It was recently designated by the WHO as one of the viruses with the potential to trigger a pandemic.
Typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Pneumonia is common, but MERS patients do not always develop this condition. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported in patients, according to the WHO.
Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation or support in an intensive care unit.
Older adults, people with weakened immune systems, and those with chronic conditions such as kidney disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes appear to be at higher risk of developing a serious illness, according to the WHO.
It is transmitted between animals and humans. Although studies have shown that humans are infected through direct or indirect contact with infected camels, the exact route of transmission remains unclear.
Human-to-human transmission is possible and has occurred primarily among close contacts and in health care settings.
As of last night, there have been no confirmed cases of cameline flu among returning England fans.
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