One More Case Of MERS Infection Reported In UAE: WHO

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) revealed Friday that it has been notified of another laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The latest case pertains to a 33 year-old male healthcare worker in Dubai who was in contact with a confirmed MERS-CoV case. He developed symptoms on December 27, and was hospitalized the next day with bilateral pneumonia, acute renal failure and thrombocytopenia.

"The patient has underlying history of bronchial asthma and chronic kidney disease. The case was laboratory confirmed for MERS-CoV on 29 December 2013. The patient is in critical but stable condition," the WHO press release read.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 177 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV globally, including 74 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.

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