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Manchester A&E reopens following MERS virus scare

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The accident and emergency department at Manchester Royal Infirmary has reopened after several patients tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Two patients were isolated on Monday after showing symptoms similar to that of the virus and the A&E department was closed temporarily as a result.

In a brief statement on its website, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust confirmed that two individuals were tested for the MERS virus in Manchester yesterday.

“These cases were separate and unrelated. The results of both tests were negative,” it said, adding that Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E was now open to the public.

“We would like to reassure our patients and the general public that there is no significant risk to public health,” the trust added.

MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Since then, 26 countries have reported cases of MERS, according to the World Health Organization.

A typical case of MERS includes of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding on examination. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.mancehstermmmm

It is thought to be contracted through direct contact with camels and is not believed to be very contagious between humans.

However, the WHO has warned that it is important that healthcare workers apply appropriate precautions when treating patients who may have the virus.

It recommended that contact precautions and eye protection should be used when caring for suspected or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection.

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