Health advisory issued for Oman amid MERS scare



TAIPEI — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday that it has issued a health advisory on travel to Oman due to new cases of the often-fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) reported there.

A 32-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were confirmed to have been infected with the disease, the CDC said, citing the World Health Organization (WHO).

The man, who contracted the disease from camels he kept, died Jan. 7, while the woman remains in stable condition, the CDC said.

As a result, the CDC has issued a Level-1 ��watch�� advisory for the Middle Eastern country, urging those bound there to exercise vigilance and take health precautions.

The CDC is keeping the same warning for the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar and Iran, while a higher Level-2 ��alert: has been applied to Saudi Arabia.

Under Taiwan’s travel advisory system, a Level-2 ��alert�� calls for would-be travelers to maintain a high degree of caution and take strengthened protective measures, especially when they visit certain high-risk places, while a Level-3 ��warning�� advises against travel to listed destinations.

According to the WHO, as of Jan. 19, there had been 955 confirmed cases of MERS CoV, including 351 deaths. Travelers to affected areas are advised to wear surgical masks and to avoid direct contact with camels.