Friday Jul 12, 201310:50 AM GMT
First case of MERS virus infection diagnosed in UAE
The picture shows the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) seen under an electron microscope.
The picture shows the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) seen under an electron microscope.
Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:49AM
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The deadly virus has mostly affected neighboring Saudi Arabia where 65 cases have been detected, including 38 fatalities so far."

An Emirati citizen has reportedly been infected with a new deadly respiratory virus related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the first case so far recorded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


In a Thursday statement, Emirati health authorities announced that the 82-year-old man, who had been diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), suffers from cancer and is currently under treatment.

The statement added that this was the first case of the MERS coronavirus infection to have been reported in the Persian Gulf state.

The deadly virus has mostly affected neighboring Saudi Arabia where 65 cases have been detected, including 38 fatalities so far.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it had held emergency talks on the MERS virus.

MERS-CoV is a cousin of SARS. The virus first emerged in the Middle East, and was discovered on September 2012 in a Qatari man who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia.

Similar cases have also been reported in Jordan, Qatar, Germany, France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. Health officials say the virus is likely to have already spread between people in some circumstances.

Health officials are trying to find out how humans are contracting the virus in a bid to find the best remedy to it.

It does not appear to be as contagious as SARS, which killed some 800 people in a 2003 epidemic.

MERS-CoV is most closely related to a bat virus. Scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection.

MKA/KA
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