The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the US IHR National Focal Point has informed it of the second laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the country.
The patient is a male health-care worker in his 40s, who lives and works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
He traveled to the US from Jeddah on May 1 "on commercial flights via London Heathrow with travel from London to Boston, Massachusetts; from Boston to Atlanta, Georgia; and from Atlanta to Orlando, Florida," the UN agency said.
The patient began feeling unwell on May 1 on the flight from Jeddah to London with a low-grade fever, chills, and a slight cough. On May 9, he was seen in an emergency room and hospitalized. The patient is currently in a stable condition.
The first patient was a male US citizen in his 60s. He lives and works in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. He traveled to the US from Riyadh to Chicago on April 24 via London Heathrow with travel from Chicago to Indiana by bus.
"The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to work with local, state, and international partners, as well as with the airlines to obtain the passenger manifests from the flights to help identify, locate, and interview contacts," the UN agency said.
The WHO also said fresh laboratory confirmed cases of MERS CoV infections were also reported in the Netherlands (1), the United Arab Emirates (14), Jordan (1) and Lebanon (1). Incidentally, it is the first time that the infections were reported in the Netherlands and Lebanon.
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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