BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Labor Ministry Monday asked citizens to immediately report any suspected cases of MERS virus and take the necessary precautions, particularly in the work place.
“The ministry stresses the importance of Lebanese [citizens] and employers taking precautionary health measures ... and immediately reporting any suspected cases given the repercussions that such a virus might have on Lebanon,” a statement by the ministry said.
It urged citizens to remain alert to possible symptoms in foreigners and Lebanese, “especially considering that several cases have been documented in some Arab and foreign countries.”
“Foreign labor could be the direct reason for the presence of the virus in Lebanon,” the statement said.
Lebanon has already taken preventative measures at Beirut's airport and local hospitals, but the Health Ministry confirmed last week that a case of Middle East respiratory syndrome was detected in the country.
Other countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. have also recorded cases, but mostly in patients who had been in Saudi Arabia, where the first case was detected.
Saudi authorities have announced that 169 have died after contracting MERS, which causes a lung infection with symptoms varying from difficulty breathing to fever.