Monday, April 21, 2014

Greece Reports First MERS Case

Greece has reported the first case of MERS in the country
The World Health Organization in Europe has reported the first case of laboratory confirmed MERS in the country of Greece.

The 69 year old Greek citizen has been residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He visited a Jeddah hospital on April 8 and 10 for probable Typhoid Fever and visited his wife who was hospitalized between March 31 and April 5 with confirmed Typhoid Fever.

Jeddah has been plagued by several recent outbreaks of the MERS virus and health care settings have been the source of the majority of new cases.

The Emergency Department at King Fahd Hospital was briefly closed while staff disinfected following MERS clusters linked to the facility. Today's report did not specify which Jeddah hospital he visited.

The man returned to Greece on April 17 and was examined at a local medical facility where he was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia. MERS was confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza.

He is currently in stable condition. Close contacts of the man from the plane, hospital and community are being being sought. None have become ill so far.

Greece makes the fifth European country which has reported MERS infections. The others include UK, Germany, France and Italy. A total of ten cases have now occurred in Europe, five of which have died. All had recently traveled to the Middle East or had close contact with someone who had vistied there.

A sharp increase in MERS cases have been reported in the last month, including new infections in Malaysia, the first in Asia and an unconfirmed case in Yemen. A Philippine paramedic with links to a UAE cluster later tested negative for the virus.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 250 cases of MERS worldwide to date, with 93 deaths.

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