Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: July 25, 2023, 11:11 IST
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
A man tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in a city in Abu Dhabi on Monday, the World Health Organization said on Monday. The case was detected from the city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi which lies on the Saudi Arabian border with Oman.
The WHO said that the Al Ain resident was hospitalised last month. Contact tracing was carried out and 108 people he was in contact with were checked but no secondary infections have been reported.
The health body further said that there are no signs the man came in contact with dromedary camels which are known for spreading the disease which is separate from Covid-19. There is no detail on his current condition.
MERS-CoV can cause fever, coughing and shortness of breath and in some cases lead to pneumonia. Cases have been recorded in 27 nations since 2012. The disease can also become fatal. According to WHO, 2,605 cases and 936 associated deaths have been reported since 2012.
The cases are likely to concern UAE which is a hub for international events and is set to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November and December.
MERS was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and the virus was isolated from a person suffering from severe respiratory illness. It is a zoonotic disease. Even though the majority of cases were reported from Saudi Arabia, countries in West Asia, Europe, Americas and Asia were affected.
MERS has a relatively high mortality rate, estimated to be around 35% and is deadlier than other coronaviruses and is similar to the virus responsible for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
There is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment for MERS.
Those infected who develop severe respiratory symptoms have to depend on supportive care to recover.
The incubation period for MERS-CoV ranges from 2 to 14 days, with an average of 5 to 6 days.
MERS is in the WHO’s list of eight priority diseases because it can cause severe outbreaks which can have a huge impact on public health.
(with inputs from Reuters)