Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MERS in Asia: Malaysian Man Dies After Pilgrimage to KSA

Malaysian officials report first MERS case in Asia 
The MERS virus has claimed it's first victim in Asia, with the announcement that a 54 year old Malaysian man has died of the disease.

The man, who suffered from diabetes, had recently returned from pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. He was admitted to the hospital in Johor with breathing problems, fever and a cold after returning home and passed away on April 13.

According to Dr S Subramaniam, Malaysian Health Minister, "We have to take this condition very seriously because of the high incidence of death and it's a viral infection. We don't have a specific treatment for it."

The man traveled aboard a Turkish Airlines flight on March 29 and fellow passengers are being contacted by the Health Ministry for MERS testing.

This report follows yesterday's announcement of the first case and fatality in the country of Yemen and a week of outbreaks in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Malaysia makes the thirteenth country to report MERS cases. The others include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Yemen and Tunisia.

The World Health Organization recognizes 212 laboratory confirmed cases and 88 deaths from the virus. Saudi Arabia has suffered most with 185 infections and 68 fatalities.

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