The diagnosis of MERS includes the doctor examining the patient and asking about any symptoms they may be having. The doctor will ask about recent activities, especially travel. Then, samples from the respiratory tract (RT) of the patient will be taken for assessment. RT-PCR testing (Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing) can affirm the presence of the virus. If the test is not positive even after 28 days after the onset of symptoms, the doctor rules out the possibility of MERS. A blood test can determine whether or not a person has been infected previously and is identified by MERS antibodies present in the blood.
The mechanism of spreading MERS is currently unknown. So, the only way to prevent it is to isolate it. Because of that, it is imperative to wash your hands frequently. Do not touch your face with unclean hands and avoid undercooked meat. Minimize close contact with those who are showing symptoms, such as fever, with acute respiratory illness. You can wear medical masks and isolate yourself from people who may have the disease.
Washing the items that a patient uses with soap and hot water is vital. Seek immediate medical help if you experience fever and respiratory illness within two weeks of your return from travel. Avoid direct contact with raw camel milk, urine, and meat. Practice proper hygiene if you visit farms, barns, markets, or places where dromedary camels are present.
The Bottom Line About the Respiratory Illness in Hong Kong
Even though we have come a long way in terms of medicine, there is a lot to be discovered. This new virus, 2019-nCoV, as well as other coronaviruses, proves that we do not have answers to everything. The medicine for the mysterious coronavirus will be developed in a year or more than them even after such technological advancements. To prevent the outbreak, it is necessary to isolate patients completely and conduct strict screenings at airports, bus stations, railway stations, and other public places.
Additionally, while handling the cases of this mysterious coronavirus, medical professionals need to take proper care to prevent them from spreading. So far, the coronavirus that was recently identified in China has taken over 200 lives and infected close to 8,500 people, with the numbers steadily increasing. Apart from affecting the lives of people in China and Hong Kong, the economies of these countries will also be impacted. As the coronavirus spreads, more countries around the world will see cases begin to arise.