Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hong Kong Reports Possible MERS Infection in Visitor to Qatar

The man traveled from Qatar to Hong Kong on December 17
The Department of Health in Hong Kong announced today that they are investigating a suspected case of MERS in a returning visitor from Qatar.

The 67 year old man became ill on December 14 with cough and runny nose while in the Middle East and returned alone to Hong Kong on December 17.

On December 19th, he visited his private doctor and was transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong where he is under isolation and in stable condition.

The man, who suffers from chronic medical conditions, reported no contact with animals while in Qatar.

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said they will continue surveillance at public and private hospitals and station doctors at airports to watch for suspected MERS infections in returning travelers.

According to the statement, "No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong...We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly involving patients with travel history to the Middle East, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible."

MERS has been laboratory confirmed in 165 patients and claimed 71 lives since it was identified last year.

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