March 24, 2014
The Centre for Health Prevention in Hong Kong has reported a possible infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome corona virus (MERS).
The 61 year old woman, who suffers from chronic medical conditions, had traveled to Saudi Arabia and was visiting Hong Kong before returning to Indonesia. She arrived at North Lantau Hospital Emergency Department with fever, cough and shortness of breath and was transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital where she is in serious condition.
Close contacts of the woman have reported no symptoms of the illness.
Preliminary testing will be performed to determine if this is Hong Kong's first case of MERS. A suspected case in December 2013 and two in February, 2014 have all tested negative for the MERS virus.
The announcement stressed that, "No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong," Health officials state that they will continue to monitor public and private hospitals, doctors and the airports for possible MERS infections and be as transparent with the public as possible.
According to a March 20 update, the World Health Organization has been informed of 198 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS worldwide, including 84 deaths.