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Human Infection With MERS Coronavirus Reported In Jordan: WHO

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday the health ministry of Jordan has informed it of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The patient is a 52 year-old man with underlying medical conditions and had visited Saudi Arabia from March 20 to 29. He took ill on March 25 and visited a hospital in Jeddah. He returned to Jordan on March 29 and visited a hospital in Amman on the same day and on April 2.

The patient is currently in a stable condition. WHO said the authorities in Jordan are in contact with the concerned officials in Saudi Arabia to follow up on all close contacts of the case.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 212 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV globally, including 88 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.

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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