UAE Man Dies from New SARS-Like Virus; Population Not Endangered


The new deadly coronavirus that first appeared in Saudi Arabia last year claimed its 11th victim, according to the World Health Organization. A 73-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates who was hospitalized for cancer treatment in Munich died this Tuesday.

The German Health Authorities and the WHO confirmed the Emirati man has died from the novel coronavirus (NCoV) after transferring him from Abu Dhabi to Schwabing Hospital Munich, Germany, possibly for cancer treatment on March 19. He was then diagnosed with an NCoV infection on March 23 and eventually died three days later, on March 26 from a severe infection. According to WHO statistics, the death rate for the new virus is currently almost 60 percent, with official death toll of 11 out of 17 confirmed cases. Although it doesn’t seem to spread very easily, the new virus has raised lots of concerns due to fact it’s from the same family of disease organisms as the one that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia in 2002 and 2003.

Abu Dhabi Health Authority and the Ministry of Health confirmed that there are no cases of NCoV in UAE, and that there is no danger to the public health in the moment. There will be no restrictions on trade or travels to foreign countries, and no special screenings will be required for travelers. Although the WHO didn’t reveal the identity of the Emirati man, the German press speculates that was a member of the ruling family of Dubai and after a camel race he showed symptoms of an illness. We can’t be sure about the cancer treatment as well, since there is no official confirmation why exactly he has been transferred to a German hospital.

All reported cases so far has been in the United Kingdom, Germany and several countries in the Middle East – Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and now the United Arab Emirates. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. Patients with the new strain of coronavirus are overcome with severe lower respiratory infections, sometimes leading to multi-organ failure. Dr. Peter Katona, a clinical professor of medicine and infectious diseases at UCLA said that there are probably countless other cases of the infection which hasn’t been identified. Although it sounds concerning, the doctor says the danger of a pandemic is insignificant, simply because NCoV is not as contagious as the flu.


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