|Umrah pilgrim may be Egypt's first MERS death|
Dr. Amr Kandil, Undersecretary of Egypt's Ministry of Health stated that a woman who passed away on February 28 in Aswan has not been confirmed as having MERS.
He called the report 'just a case of suspicion' and said samples were being sent to the central laboratories for testing.
The report said the woman was 56 years old and traveled to Saudi Arabia for Umrah two weeks ago. She is reported to have visited a hospital in Medina where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Upon returning to Egypt, she was admitted to Assiut University Hospital where she died upon arrival.
An Egyptian woman has died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), according to this report.
The woman was from Aswan in Upper Egypt and had recently returned from Saudi Arabia after performing the Umrah pilgrimage. She became ill and was taken to a local hospital where she passed away on February 28.
MERS has been confirmed in eleven countries so far, most in the Arabian Peninsula. The cases which have occurred outside the region have all had direct links to one of the effected countries.
MERS was suspected in the death of a woman from Mansoura, Egypt last October but tests later proved she died of the H1N1 virus.
A February 28 update by The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed two previously reported MERS cases in Saudi Arabia. One was a 22 year old from the Eastern Region who passed away on February 12 and the other was a 67 year old who was hospitalized on January 25.
Both men suffered from underlying medical conditions and are considered 'sporadic' cases. That is, they reported no contact with animals or other confirmed MERS patients.
WHO currently recognizes 184 confirmed MERS cases and 80 deaths. A report released by the ECDC on February 23 reported 186 cases of MERS with 87 deaths.