Travellers to areas affected by MERS are advised to download and print the PDF card at the link below, and keep it for 14 days after they have left the MERS affected area.
This card is available in other languages by emailing Human Biosecurity.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
Information for Travellers
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are known to cause serious illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). MERS was first identified in the Middle East.
If you are considering travelling to an area affected by MERS, you should:
- Consult your doctor before travelling to discuss the risks and decide whether it is advisable to travel at this time.
If you are travelling to, or live in, an area that is affected by MERS, you should:
- Avoid close contact with sick people and sick animals.
- When visiting a farm or market where there may be camels, wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser often and after any contact with camels.
- Avoid consuming raw camel milk or urine, undercooked camel meat and anything contaminated with camel secretions.
- If you have an existing health condition that makes you more vulnerable to respiratory disease, also avoid all contact with camels.
- Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, including routine vaccinations (such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza and polio vaccinations), and vaccines required for occupational risk, lifestyle risks or underlying medical conditions. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health also has a number of vaccination requirements for Umrah and Hajj pilgrims which can be found in the "Health Requirements and Recommendations for Travellers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah" on the WHO website.
Stop the Spread
- If you are sick, avoid contact with other people.
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.
Seek Medical Advice
- If you develop symptoms of MERS infection, seek medical advice.
- Check the Department of Health website for updates.
If you have recently returned from an area affected by MERS, you should:
- See your doctor immediately if you feel unwell and develop some or all of the symptoms, especially if you have a weakened immune system. Tell your doctor you have travelled.
- Talk to a Biosecurity Officer at your port of arrival if you feel unwell when you arrive in Australia. Airport staff can help you to find a Biosecurity Officer.
- Keep this card for up to 14 days after you have left the MERS affected area as symptoms may take this long to develop.