New MERS case reported in Oman
Geneva, January 9, 2014
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Oman.
The case is a 59 year-old man who became sick with fever, cough and shortness of breath on December 20, 2013 and was admitted to hospital December 24. On December 28 his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to an intensive care unit and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The patient died on December 30, WHO said in a statement.
A laboratory confirmation of MERS-CoV was made on January 1. The patient had a history of daily exposure to camels and other farm animals and also participated in camel race events, said the WHO statement. In addition, the man was a heavy smoker, it added.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 178 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 75 deaths.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.
Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations, WHO said.
Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with shock. It is possible that severely immunocompromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms.
Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors.
All Member States are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with MERS-CoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course.
People at high risk of severe disease due to MERS-CoV should avoid close contact with animals when visiting farms or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating, WHO said.
For the general public, when visiting a farm or a barn, general hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals, avoiding contact with sick animals, and following food hygiene practices, should be adhered to, according to the statement. – TradeArabia News Service