Suspected case in S'pore tests negative

Suspected case in S'pore tests negative
A traveller who arrived in Singapore from South Korea this week was sent for checks for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) but later tested negative.

A traveller who arrived in Singapore from South Korea this week was sent for checks for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) but later tested negative.

This was the only suspected Mers case from the seven flights from South Korea screened by the Singapore authorities as of 2pm on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.

In all, 57 suspected Mers cases had been tested in Singapore as of Wednesday, including those picked up from airport temperature screenings or referred by general practitioners.

All tested negative, said the MOH.

Singapore has been screening air travellers from the Middle East since May last year, but started doing so for air passengers from South Korea from Tuesday, given its worsening Mers situation.

Mers has infected 126 people in South Korea so far. A 72-year-old woman became the latest fatality yesterday, taking the death toll in the country to 11.

The MOH told The Straits Times yesterday that all Singapore hospitals are ready to screen and isolate suspected cases.

Patients who show symptoms of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection, and have visited the Middle East or South Korea recently, will be tested for Mers.

The authorities will also investigate those who have a fever or respiratory illness of any severity, and who visited a healthcare facility in the Middle East or South Korea. Suspected cases may be isolated for further investigations, which may take up to 48 hours.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote on Facebook that individual responsibility matters in the fight against infectious diseases like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) and Mers.

"The weapons against infectious diseases like Sars and Mers are detection and isolation, and to break the chain of infection, individual responsibility counts a lot, especially if you have travelled to areas affected by Mers."

Meanwhile, pharmacy chain Guardian said it had seen an approximately fivefold increase in its sales of N95 masks since last week.

 

 


This article was first published on June 13, 2015.
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