Via The National, an April 15 report updated today: Mers coronavirus: Filipino paramedic who died in UAE infected 10 colleagues, says the WHO. Excerpt:
ABU DHABI // A paramedic who died last week after contracting the Mers coronavirus infected 10 colleagues, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.
Abundio Verzosa Esporlas, 45, an Al Ain Rescue and Ambulance Section worker from the Philippines, died on Thursday after developing flu-like symptoms.
It was not known whether the WHO figure included five Al Ain Rescue workers who had direct contact with Esporlas before his death and are in precautionary quarantine.
WHO said it had been informed of the 10 new cases by UAE health authorities.
However, in a statement released through the state news agency Wam, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) said it had identified an additional three cases after screening healthcare workers in Al Ain.
Officials at Haad refused to comment on the discrepancy in the figures.
In its statement to Wam, Haad said the three new cases displayed no symptoms, but preventive measures had been taken to keep them in quarantine.
“From previous asymptomatic cases in the UAE, individuals tend to clear the virus themselves within 10-14 days, but are kept in isolation in hospital during this time,” the authority said.
Haad said there was no public-health concern and it was coordinating with the Ministry of Health and other authorities, taking measures recommended by WHO to screen anyone who had come in contact with a confirmed case.
WHO said it had been informed of the 10 new cases on Sunday and Monday but was not issuing any special recommendations.
“We would need more information to understand the background to the new cases,” said spokesman Gregory Härtl.
The new cases bring the global Mers total to 238 infected, with 92 deaths.
Dr Asiim Malik, a consultant and the head of infectious disease at Mafraq Hospital, said the new cases were no cause for concern.
“I think people probably get so scared,” he said. “When they see a cluster, they think it is an outbreak. But as long as people take good care of their hygiene and turn to advice from the proper authorities and the experts, I do not think anyone should panic.”