In over a decade, 35% of patients with MERS-CoV have passed away due to complications caused by the virus.
A confirmed case of the rare and severe Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was detected in Qatar, the ministry of health has announced.
The MERS-CoV virus was transferred to humans from infected dromedary camels. It is transmitted between animals and people and is contractable through direct or indirect contact with infected animals.
Since 2012, the virus has been identified in camels in several countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. In total, around 27 countries have reported cases in the past decade and 858 related deaths have been reported due to the severity of the infection.
35% of patients with MERS-CoV have died. However, the percentage may be overestimated, given that mild cases may be missed by existing surveillance systems, the World Health Organization stated.
The virus can pass from person to person through cough droplets. Research, however, has proven that the virus is not very contagious between people unless they come in close contact.
The viral respiratory disease is caused by one of the coronaviruses (MERS-CoV), but it differs from the current Covid-19 pandemic in terms of source of infection, mode of transmission, and disease severity. It belongs to the same coronavirus group that includes SARS and the common cold.
The symptoms, however, are quite similar. They include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting.
In an online statement, authorities revealed that the patient is a 50-year-old male resident who had direct contact with camels.
He has been admitted to hospital and is receiving all the necessary medical care in accordance with the national protocol to deal with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease, the ministry added.
All those who had direct contact with the patients are free of symptoms and will be monitored accordingly for 14 days to ensure they are healthy and unaffected.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health affirmed that all necessary preventive and precautionary measures are being taken to control the disease and prevent it from spreading.
Authorities are also calling on the community, especially those with chronic diseases or those with immunodeficiency disorders, to adhere to public hygiene measures to ensure their safety.
The measures include washing hands regularly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding contact with camels. Any person experiencing symptoms of the virus should seek medical advice immediately.