Hong Kong CHP monitors Middle East Respiratory Syndrome overseas

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health in Hong Kong said on Monday that it is monitoring an overseas case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome that was reported to the World Health Organization.

The patient is a 48-year-old male in Qatar who was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 31, and is in critical condition. Investigation revealed the patient had no recent travel or contact with confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, but he did frequently visit animal barns.

A DH spokesperson said no human infection of the virus has been confirmed in Hong Kong.

"The Centre for Health Protection of the DH will seek more information on the case from the WHO and the relevant health authority," the DH spokesperson said. "The CHP will stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments of this disease."

There are 151 global confirmed cases of MERS, which have resulted in 64 deaths.

"We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome," the DH spokesperson said. "Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly involving patients with travel history to the Middle East, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible."