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Sun 7 Dec 2014 10:54 AM

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Saudi Arabia issues fresh warning against touching camels

The health ministry has urged Saudi residents to avoid camels amid continuing fears over MERS, which claimed another 4 deaths in November

Saudi Arabia issues fresh warning against touching camels
(AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has issued a fresh warning against approaching camels unless necessary amid continuing concerns about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The ministry said those who work with camels should wear a long-sleeve medical gown, gloves and a mask over their nose and mouth.

Camels products such as meat and milk should be well cooked or boiled before consumption.

“Avoid contact with camels, especially if they are sick. Stay away from their nasal secretions, stool and body fluids such as blood, urine and milk, and camel meat and liver should be cooked well before consumption,” the ministry statement says, according to Arab News.

MERS was discovered in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 and is believed to spread via camels.

There have been 817 confirmed cases of MERS, including 351 deaths, in the kingdom, according to the health ministry.

The most recent victim, a 52-year-old Saudi man, died on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation says it has been notified of 927 confirmed cases of MERS infection, with a death rate of about one-in-three.

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