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Medical staff briefed on handling SARS cases

posted on 04/05/2003: 2040 views



Officials at the Ministry of Health (MoH) said here yesterday that the country is free from SARS, and its Preventive Medicine Department held a lecture to update local medical staff on the latest international developments on the disease. Speaking to the press Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Undersecretary of the department, said that no SARS cases have been reported to date and healthcare units at entry ports continue to be vigilant and are enforcing preventive measures.



About a 100 physicians, nurses, specialists of infectious diseases and others attended the lecture delivered by Dr Andrew Pattullo, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre. Dr Pattullo gave them an overview on the latest developments worldwide. He stressed the importance of preventive measures at entry ports and within the medical facilities and among medical staff, in case they have to handle suspected cases. He said precautions need to be taken because there is no effective treatment.



"International health organisations such as the WHO and Committee for Disease Control, are studying a vaccine or anti-viral agents, but it could take months or even years before they discover an effective treatment." Asked by the audience about how to control the massive flow of passengers on visit visas who could carry the disease, he said the medical teams follow up on all those who have pneumonia symptoms.



Asked whether those who show flu-like symptoms should be banned from entry, he said the measure would be unjustified, but anyone who shows severe symptoms would be isolated and treated accordingly. "You cannot ban anyone who is coughing or sneezing. We are taking strict preventive measures, which if implemented prove successful." (The Gulf News)

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