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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 22/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Camels may have identified as carriers of MERS-CoV, but there is no evidence to establish that the virus is being transmitted to humans from these animals or from their meat, a senior official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has said.

The regional consultation meeting by MoAF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) discussed health status of animals in the region used for human consumption, including goat and camel meat.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Hadi Mohsin al Lawati, director of MoAF's Animal Health Department said, ''There is no scientific evidence so far. And there are several peripheral things that could affect the health of an animal. Cooking is another major factor which decides the transmission.''

He said the reason of transmission could be countless. ''People may not be eating well cooked meat. This is harmful and could be a reason, but pinpointing any animal is unfair because there is no scientific evidence so far.

''Each expert in GCC is working on various aspects related to carriers and transmission of the virus. The aim is to monitor and keep a check on the spread. However, we would want to discourage the rumours that are going around. And this is the reason that I want to reiterate that there is no evidence that camels are transmitting MERS virus to human. And eating well-cooked meat causes no problems.''

He said researchers from across the globe and of course, in GCC are working on the subject. ''However, there is no proof whatsoever till date that it has been transmitted through camels.''

Experts discussed the key action points to be taken on surveillance, response, research studies and coordination mechanis


Muscat Daily

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