ALOR GAJAH: Consuming raw camel’s milk is one of the reasons why some Malaysians returning home from umrah are infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), says Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
The Health Minister said so far, there were two such cases.
“Both patients had visited camel farms and consumed raw camel’s milk.
“They tested positive for MERS-CoV infection upon returning to the country,” he said after visiting the Alor Gajah Hospital yesterday.
With him were state Health, Sports Development and Anti-Drugs Committee chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and state Health director Datuk Dr Ghazali Othman.
Dr Subramaniam said as a result of this, his ministry had reminded Malaysians to avoid tours to camel farms in the Middle Eastern countries.
He said tour agencies that offered umrah packages should also omit visits to camel farms from their travel itineraries.
“Scientific evidence has proven that camels are carriers of the MERS-CoV,” Dr Subramaniam added.
“They are not sick but their bodies contain the virus.”
On a related matter, the Health Minister revealed that a 55-year-old man, who tested positive for MERS-CoV upon returning home last month, was in a stable condition.
He said the man from Selangor was receiving treatment at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory illness that can cause fever, coughing and shortness of breath, and eventually, lead to death in extreme cases.
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