Friday, January 3, 2014

New MERS Case in UAE; "Infections Increasing"

UAE is now second only to Saudi Arabia in MERS infections
The World Health Organization has been informed of another MERS case in the United Arab Emirates, raising the global confirmed cases to 177 with 74 deaths.

The UAE now ranks second only to Saudi Arabia in numbers of MERS infections. Previously, Qatar held that position.

The newest case involves a 33 year old man who works in the health care field and was in contact with a previously confirmed MERS patient.

The man has a history of asthma and kidney disease and developed symptoms on December 27. He was admitted to the hospital the next day suffering from bilateral pneumonia, acute renal failure and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count which can cause internal bleeding.) The man is currently in stable, but critical condition.

Dr. Salwan Ibrahim, Middle East Director for International SOS, whose website describes them as "the world’s leading medical and travel security services company," stated that MERS cannot be left just to government officials alone; that the private sector needed to take some responsibility to educate their workers on how to avoid the deadly virus, in this report by the Dubai Chronicle.

He said that information is the strongest weapon against MERS and everyone should remain vigilant and know how to protect themselves, including staying away from sick people, hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick.

Dr Ibrahim cautioned that the virus mutates very quickly and seems to have become more contagious in the last few months as the numbers of new infections are increasing. He added, although much of the virus is still a mystery, experts now have better knowledge and technology to treat and contain the virus.

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