WHO reports additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in United Arab Emirates


The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it received information from the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates that an additional human case of Middle East respiratory syndrome has been confirmed.

The patient was a 40-year-old man from Oman. He was admitted to the hospital in Muscat on Feb. 15, and readmitted to the hospital on March 17 in Abu Dhabi. He died on March 24.

Investigation revealed the patient had no history of recent travel outside of Oman and UAE, and no contact with animals or a laboratory confirmed-case of MERS-CoV. He did have underlying medical conditions. The epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

Two hundred laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported since September 2012. The latest case increases the number of deaths to 85.

WHO said all member states should continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and review unusual patterns.The respiratory illness can be difficult to diagnose due to mild symptoms or atypical illness.

Travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as well. People with high risk of severe disease should avoid contact with animals when visiting farms and barns where the virus is possibly circulating. The general public should avoid touching animals and practice general hygiene.