MERS Killer Virus Claims Life of New Mother in Abu Dhabi

MERS virus

MERS, a SARS-like virus believed to be transmitted by either camels or bats has claimed another life in the Middle East. This time a mother of a newborn and an eight year old boy from Jordan.

The family came into a hospital for a regular check up when the MERS virus was detected, according to local reports.

“They had no travel history, no contact with a known confirmed case and no history of contact with animals,” WHO said in a statement. The eight year old boy from Jordan, his dad and newborn are all being monitored. None of the family had been in contact with animals or other suspected cases of MERS.

To date the World Health Organization has found 163 laboratory-detected cases on infection and 70 deaths. The latest death in Abu Dhabi was preceded by two deaths in Qatar in November. 

Human cases of MERS, which can cause pneumonia and flu-like symptoms such as coughing and fever, have been reported in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Tunisia.

The Qatari health council warn people with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses to avoid any close animal contact when visiting farms and markets.

The coronavirus MERS emerged in the Middle East last year, killing nearly 40 percent of the people so far infected.  It’s related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and fears that the virus would explode amongst this year’s Hajj pilgrims have so far proved unfounded.

Image of virus under microscope from Shutterstock

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