Via CIDRAP, Robert Roos writes: MERS case reported in UAE man who owns camels. Excerpt:
A United Arab Emirates (UAE) man who owns camels is sick with a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.
The patient is a 68-year-old Abu Dhabi resident who fell ill on Mar 1 and has been hospitalized since Mar 3, the WHO said in a statement. He is in stable condition.
"He had no contact with other known MERS-CoV cases and had no travel history," the agency said. "The patient owns a farm that he visits daily, and where he had contact with animals, including camels which he breeds."
Middle Eastern dromedary camels are known to harbor MERS-CoV and are a suspected source of human infections, though the link has not been firmly established. Several other cases have involved exposure to camels, but many patients have not reported any contact with the animals.
Including the new case, 16 MERS cases have been reported in the UAE, according to a tally maintained by FluTrackers, an online infectious disease message board.
In the same statement today, the WHO recognized two MERS cases reported previously by Saudi Arabia, though the details of one of them did not fully match up with what Saudi officials reported on the date mentioned by the WHO.
The WHO said the cases involved a 51-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman, both from Riyadh and both having underlying medical conditions. The man, who was exposed to animals before his illness, got sick on Feb 28 and was hospitalized Mar 2. The woman fell ill on Feb 17, was hospitalized Feb 25, and died on Mar 3, the agency said.
The WHO said the two cases were reported by the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) on Mar 5. The Mar 5 MOH statement matches the WHO announcement concerning the 51-year-old man, except that it doesn't mention exposure to animals. But the MOH described the other patient as a 55-year-old man rather than a 56-year-old woman.
However, on Feb 26 the MOH did report a case in a 56-year-old Riyadh woman, who was said to be in an intensive care unit. Subsequent MOH statements have not mentioned her death.