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It may sound cliché to some of us, but PREVENTION is always always always always better than cure. And it is not enough, I could even say it’s 100 times better than cure.
When I first heard about MERS virus spreading in Korea, I was like “ok, just another virus in the air”. However, I was convinced that this is a serious issue when I read that it is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was actually originated from the Middle East as the acronym suggests. MERS means Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and it was first reported in Saudi Arabia in year 2012 and suspected that the virus came from the camels. It became viral and spread to other countries.
The reason why MERS reached Korea is because of this one person who came back from his trip to Middle East. He brought the virus here in Korea (unintentionally of course) and so far has killed 2 people. What makes me worried even more is that MERS patients were diagnosed in the hospitals in the area where I live. Just the thought that the virus is just few kilometers or even meters away from me gives me chills.
If you are here in Korea, whether you are near the area where MERS was diagnosed or not, the best thing you can do now is to avoid it as much as possible. Aside from the 2 reported deaths caused by this virus, there are about 25 people infected with the virus and counting. So here are my friendly advices to avoid MERS-CorV in Korea.
1. Take some precautionary measures
Precautionary measures include guidelines on how to properly wash your hands, how to practice proper hygiene and some safety practices. The advisory of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has provided pretty good instruction on how to execute proper washing of hands and other important precautionary measures. I advice you to read this on the link provided below:
Philippine Embassy Seoul MERS Advisory
2. Avoid going to places where MERS-CorV victims were diagnosed
I guess it’s easy to understand why you need to stay away from places where there’s MERS. Of course it’s a virus, and you must not even dare to come near to it. The problem is, can you identify those places? Here is a list of hospitals where the MERS was diagnosed. If you are planning to go for a check up, avoid these hospitals for now.
*CMC Vincent (성빈센트병원)
* Dongtan Hallym (동탄성심병원)
*www.goodmhospital.co.kr 평택 굿모닝병원
*www.kyuh.ac.kr 건양대 병원
*www.cnuh.co.kr 충남대 병원
3. Always remember the prevention routine to avoid MERS
Doing some precautionary measures and avoiding hospitals where MERS was diagnosed may not enough. The CDC of United States of America has formulated a prevention routine that is very essential to prevent the disease. I have verbatimly copied the instruction from ther webpage and hopefully you will find this easy to follow
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as toys and doorknobs
It is better to be safe than never. Let’s remember that MERS has no vaccine and has no cure as of this moment. As I’ve said, the disease is new to humans and nobody has formulated a medicine to cure it yet. For time being, let’s prevent it and keep yourself updated with news and information about the disease because Knowledge is Power. It’s the only thing you can do right now so you will not be infected with the disease.
Keep safe everyone.