|The Netherlands is the sixth European country to report MERS|
The Dutch couple arrived in the Saudi Kingdom on April 26. Both suffer from pre-existing medical conditions.
The 70 year old man developed symptoms on May 1 while in the city of Medina. He visited a hospital emergency room in Mecca on May 6 where he received antibiotics.
He did not develop respiratory problems until his return to the Netherlands where he was hospitalized on May 10. He tested positive for the MERS virus three days later. Both victims are currently hospitalized in stable condition.
One of the two victims may have visited a camel farm while in Saudi Arabia. Close contacts of the pair, including fellow passengers on their flight, are being notified for monitoring and testing.
Thirteen of the 614 laboratory confirmed cases reported to WHO have occurred in Europe and all had recently travelled from the Middle East or had close contact with someone who had.
Previous European cases have been reported in France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the UK. Imported infections in Malaysia and the Philippines brought MERS to Asia.
Africa has reported cases in Egypt and Tunisia and the North America has seen two cases in the US. Most had direct links to a Middle Eastern country where MERS has been reported, including Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.
The World Health Organization currently reports 614 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS worldwide, with 181 deaths.