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Indonesian woman suspected of having contracted MERS virus

An Indonesian woman is suspected of having contracted the MERS corona virus after returning from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

JAKARTA: An Indonesian woman is suspected of having contracted the MERS corona virus after returning from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The woman is being treated in a hospital in Medan.

Three other suspected cases have also been reported in Pekanbaru in Riau on Wednesday.

With the outbreak of the deadly virus reported in Saudi Arabia, Indonesian health authorities are taking measures to prevent it from spreading.

On Tuesday, a 50-year-old woman with initials S.H.N was admitted to the Adam Malik Hospital's infectious disease ward with symptoms of high fever and coughing.

Her saliva samples have been sent to a Jakarta laboratory and the test results are expected to be known by next week.

The woman is the second patient in Indonesia suspected of having contracted the deadly MERS corona virus.

Reports showed that she had returned to Indonesia on the same day with another Medan resident, but on a different flight.

The Medan resident died of MERS-related symptoms only two days after returning home.

However, Indonesian health officials said the two cases have not been confirmed as MERS-COV.

Each year, Indonesia sends the most number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia with at least 700,000 pilgrims for the minor haj or umrah, and 250,000 pilgrims for the haj pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Health has warned prospective pilgrims to wash their hands regularly with soap, not visit any animal farms or slaughterhouses, and always wear a face mask during their pilgrimage trips. 

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