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Patients and Visitors Health Advisory

14 Jun 2013

If you have fever, cough and/or sore throat and have been to the Middle East* in the 14 days before you became ill.


Do NOT visit patients in SGH wards and kindly seek immediate medical attention.

FAQs from Ministry of Health Singapore


What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals. Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate respiratory illnesses of short duration like the common cold, with the exception of the SARS coronavirus which can cause severe illness. Symptoms may include runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. These viruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia. This is more common in people with heart disease, or pre-existing lung disease, or compromised immune systems, or the elderly.

It has been reported that the new virus belongs to the same family of viruses as SARS and the common flu. How do I know if I have the common cold, the flu or something more severe?
In the confirmed cases, the symptoms have been acute, serious respiratory illness presenting with fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Individuals are advised to put on a surgical mask and seek early medical attention if they develop similar symptoms and had a travel history to an affected country (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan).

What preventive measures can frequent travellers to affected countries take?
Individuals who travel frequently to the affected countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan) are advised to be vaccinated against influenza and meningitis. MOH also recommends pneumococcal vaccination for persons aged 65 years and above, or those with chronic medical conditions. Individuals should observe good personal hygiene at all times and practise frequent hand-washing with soap and water before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after sneezing or coughing. Individuals who are sick are reminded to cover their nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing, and to dispose of the tissue properly.

*I’m a returning traveller from an affected country and I have flu-like symptoms. How do I know if I’m infected by the MERS-CoV?
Returning travellers from an affected country (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan) should monitor their health by looking out for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough and/or breathlessness. Individuals should wear a surgical mask and seek early medical attention if they are ill with such symptoms. Individuals should also inform their doctors of their travel history should they develop these symptoms after returning to Singapore.

What medications can I take to get treated for a coronavirus?
Please seek medical advice from your doctor if you develop fever and cough within 10 days of returning from affected countries.

More information available at MOH webpage

8 Steps of Hand Hygiene

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Last Modified Date :28 Jun 2013