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Another Case Of MERS Infection Reported In UAE

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) revealed Friday it has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the UN health agency, the case is a 66 year-old male UAE national, residing in Abu Dhabi. The patient was admitted to hospital on January 24 with pneumonia and renal failure. He had underlying medical conditions.

MERS-CoV was laboratory-confirmed at the national laboratory in Abu Dhabi on the January 30 by two positive PCR targets. The patient is currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in stable condition. Public health authorities are carrying out contact tracing and an epidemiological investigation.

The patient owns camels in UAE and has recent travel history to Oman from 20 January 2014 where he had contact with camels, the WHO press release said.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 182 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV globally, including 79 deaths.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO urged all Member-States to continue their surveillance for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) and carefully review any unusual patterns. WHO stressed that recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations.

"WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions," the press release read.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause a range of ailments from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which became an epidemic in 2003. The virus could be transmitted between people in close and prolonged contact. The sources of infection for the new coronavirus are still unclear.

The deadly Novel Coronavirus (NCoV) strain, recently renamed MERS-CoV, reflects the fact that most of the reported cases are from that region, mainly Saudi Arabia.

Nevertheless, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom have also reported laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections. Those patients were either transferred there for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill.

by RTT Staff Writer

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