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Published On: Sat, Jul 13th, 2013

CDC updates travel notice for Arabian Peninsula

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated travel notice for travelers to the Arabian Peninsula, in light of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) reported from the area.

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

CDC does not recommend that anyone change their travel plans because of these cases of MERS. CDC recommends that US travelers to countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula monitor their health and see a doctor right away if they develop fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath. They should tell the doctor about their recent travel.

This travel notice is issued with the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages in Mecca upcoming.

This year the Embassy of Saudi Arabia recommends that the following groups should postpone their plans for Hajj and Umrah: the elderly, the terminally ill, pregnant women, and children.

The CDC says taking these everyday actions can help prevent the spread of germs and protect against colds, flu, and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Be sure you are up-to-date with all of your shots, and if possible, see your healthcare provider at least 4–6 weeks before travel to get any additional shots. Visit CDC’s Travelers’ Health website for more information on healthy travel.
  • If you are sick
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Avoid contact with other people to keep from infecting them.

The federal health agency says you should see a health care provider if you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. You should tell the health care provider about your recent travel.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 81 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 45 deaths.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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