New MERS-CoV case detected in UAE

The World Health Organization reported a new laboratory-confirmed case on Saturday of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in United Arab Emirates.

The UAE Ministry of Health notified WHO of the infection in an 82-year-old male patient with underlying medical conditions. The man is currently in critical condition.

Since September, the WHO was informed of 82 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections, including 45 deaths.

The WHO issued a global alert and response encouraging all member states to continue the surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to review any strange patterns. Healthcare providers are urged to maintain vigilance, testing all recent travelers returning from the Middle East with SARI for MERS-CoV, as is advised in the most recent surveillance recommendations.

The organization reminded all member states to quickly assess and notify the organization of any new MERS-CoV infections. The notification should include information about possible exposures that could have led to infection and a description of the clinical course. The WHO did not advise any special screening at entry points or the application of any trade or travel restrictions at this time.

The WHO convened an emergency committee under the International Health Regulations on a precautionary basis to be prepared in case the situation changes. The committee will provide expert technical advice to the WHO director-general. The first committee meeting took place on July 9 with an additional meeting scheduled for this week.