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Monday 24 September 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

Health experts urge pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to prioritise hygiene to prevent spread of viruses including MERS

Haj and Umrah pilgrims preparing to travel to Makkah have been advised to make personal health and hygiene a top priority after cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus was reported. Between 12 January and 31 May 2018, the National IHR Focal Point of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported 75 laboratory confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS_CoV), including twenty-three (23) deaths.

With thousands of people from the UAE, and millions more from across the world, expected to make the journey to the Kingdom, public health experts at Mundipharma are urging travellers to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves from exposure to MERS and other illnesses.

The WHO expects that “additional cases of MERS-CoV infection will be reported from the Middle East, and that cases will continue to be exported to other countries by individuals who might acquire the infection after exposure to animals or animal products for example, following contact with camels or human source”.

WHO guidelines state that good personal hygiene, including regular hand washing, is the first line of defence in the prevention of diseases and avoiding infection.

The success rate of Mundipharma’s range of Povidone-iodine solutions such as BETADINE, against bacterial infections and viruses makes it a good option for pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia.

A 2015 study carried out by Marburg University in Germany proved the efficacy of BETADINE Skin Cleanser, BETADINE Surgical Scrub and BETADINE Mouthwash and Gargle in protecting against MERS by having a killing rate of more than 99.99 percent in 15 seconds.

The study found that use of BETADINE products may help to support hygiene measures during outbreaks of respiratory viruses.

BETADINE has a 99.99 per cent kill rate in just 30 seconds after application against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pyogenes and Candida albicans.

“Large gatherings, such as Umrah and Haj, increases the chance of diseases being spread quickly and to high numbers of people. Regular and thorough washing of your hands with antiseptic BETADINE products, especially after touching public surfaces, as well as covering your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, can help to prevent the spread of viruses. BETADINE has shown to have a potential to fight the outbreak of diseases by helping minimizing the risk of human-to-human transmission. With so many people regularly travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umra and the Haj season only a few months away, it is prudent for pilgrims to take all necessary precautions to remain healthy throughout their trip and to reduce the risk of returning home with an illness,” said Dr Ashraf Allam, Regional Vice-President of Mundipharma for Middle East, Turkey and Africa Region.

About Mundipharma

Mundipharma and its network of privately owned Independent Associated Companies (IACs) is dedicated to alleviating human suffering and improving quality of life for the human race. The Mundipharma story, spanning over six decades brings together a visionary approach and a pioneering spirit – what is best told through its patients, employees and the communities across six continents in which they serve. Mundipharma is focused on business transformation by leveraging global leadership in pain and, through a shared spirit of innovation, building a growing presence in antisepsis, respiratory, oncology, ophthalmology, consumer healthcare and other specialty areas.