MERS cases on the rise in Middle East


Health authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a new death caused by the dangerous MERS virus. With the last laboratory-confirmed case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus in the UAE, the total number of infections globally rises to 166. This includes 71 deaths, with 57 people died in Saudi Arabia only.

On December 20, Dubai Health Authority announced a new laboratory-confirmed case of MERS-CoV. The patient is a 68-year-old Emirati man, who has chronic conditions, including diabetes and chronic kidney failure. After complaining from coughing and other symptoms, the man was laboratory-tested and found positive for novel Corona virus. According to DHA, the patient neither had close contact with animals, nor did he travel recently. He had no contact with sick people, which baffles doctors – how did he get the infection? Authorities are still investigating and checking for other infections in his family, according to DHA. With this case, the total number of MERS cases rises to 166, including 71 deaths.

The new deadly virus continues to spread mostly across Middle Eastern countries and Saudi Arabia, in particular. The health authorities in the kingdom announced this Thursday a new death in the capital, caused by the infection. The patient was 73-year-old Saudi male, who also had underlying medical conditions, which seem to contribute to the fatal outcome of the MERS virus. Most of the victims so far, have been elderly people, who suffered from chronic diseases and were immune-compromised. Most of the death cases have also been reported in Saudi Arabia – 57 out of 71 deaths totally.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia also announced four other MERS cases in Riyadh. Two of them are in Saudi patients and another two are reported in foreign medical workers – a 35-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman. According to the World Health Organization, the virus is not a concern for the public health on a global scale. Travel bans and restrictions are not required at the moment, but travelers in the Middle East should follow basic hygiene and food safety practices to prevent possible infection.


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