Malaysia has stepped up MERS screenings at all airports

health_mers-koronavirus-yang-masih-misteriusMalaysia has stepped up health screenings at all entry points into the country, after the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported in Thailand last week.

Malaysia, which shares a 650 km (400 mile) land border with Thailand, has already started monitoring body temperatures at airports, Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said in a statement to state news agency Bernama.

“Now, we are going further to include all entry points,” he said.

Visitors entering the country would also be briefed on precautions to be taken to avoid being infected with the disease, the minister said in the statement. There have so far been no cases of MERS reported in Malaysia.

South Korea has been dealing with the largest outbreak of MERS outside Saudi Arabia, and on Monday reported two more deaths, bringing the number of fatalities to 27. Seoul also said it had confirmed three more MERS cases, taking the total in the outbreak to 172.

Thailand’s health ministry said at the weekend that 175 people were exposed to its only case of MERS, which was unconnected to the outbreak in South Korea.

MERS was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, with the majority of cases in the Middle East. Scientists are not sure of the origin of the virus, but several studies have linked it to camels.

Isolated cases have cropped up in Asia before South Korea’s outbreak.