SINGAPORE: Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) is closely monitoring the latest development of Malaysia's first imported human case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The victim, a 54-year-old man from Johor, had travelled to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage. He returned to Malaysia on 29 March, was admitted to hospital on 10 April and died on 13 April.
No cases of MERS-CoV have been detected in Singapore thus far.
But, given today's globalised travel patterns, the possibility of an imported case in Singapore cannot be ruled out, said an MOH news statement.
"Our hospitals remain vigilant to test for MERS-CoV where clinically indicated, such as in patients with serious respiratory illness and a compatible travel history," said the statement.
"The risk of an outbreak in the community here is low as sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus has not been reported," it added.
MERS-CoV is a novel coronavirus which causes acute respiratory illness in infected patients.
The virus was first reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 22 September 2012, and thus far all cases worldwide remained associated with the Arabian Peninsula.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals.
Human coronaviruses usually cause mild respiratory illnesses like the common cold, except the MERS-CoV and the SARS coronavirus which can cause severe illness. - CNA/ir
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