New deadly Middle East sickness under watch

| 07/06/2013

(28VIRU-articleLarge-1.jpgCNS): A new strain of coronavirus previously unidentified in humans is causing respiratory illness in the Middle East and Europe. The World Health Organization states that there are 54 laboratory-confirmed cases of the infection, including 30 deaths, from September last year to date. Middle East countries with MERS-CoV include Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom also reported confirmed cases. While there have been no cases so far in our region, local health officials are now monitoring the situation.

According to local officials, the chances of contracting the virus here are very small. However, Cayman health officials continue to monitor the situation and travellers returning from the Middle East who develop breathing difficulties that are unexplained by any other illness or virus should contact a doctor as soon as possible and state their travel history so that a correct diagnosis can be made.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, which includes viruses that may cause illnesses in humans, ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

With only a small number of cases reported so far, there is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact. Investigations are underway to determine the source of the virus, the types of exposure that lead to the infection, the mode of transmission, and the clinical pattern and course of disease.

In France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with the laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.

MERS-CoV is an acute, serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Most patients have had pneumonia. Many have also had gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea. Some patients have had kidney failure. For people with immune deficiencies, the disease may have an atypical presentation. It is important to note that the current understanding of illness caused by this infection is based on only a few cases and may change as more is learned about this virus.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    i agree with poster11:06 i had the same problem,i went to the hospital with breathing problems they took chest x-rays and was treated with asthama Medicine, they did a good job with getting my breathing back in shape and i have an inhaler on hand it’s a scary , i hope i am wrong.

    • House says:

      I think the evidence seems to be pointing towards you having asthma. And hypochondria.

      • Anonymous says:

        For you to suggest that a person is a hypochondriac because they're concerned about their health and others is completely irresponsible.  

  2. St Peter says:

    I am surprised that Jordan is on the list…

    I wonder if the Jordanian knows about this?

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is probably already here, I had a respiratory infection for the past 3 months and only now I can breathe without meds or a pump.  Went to the hospital three times and was given antibiotics, and asthma medicine.  Only now start to feel like myself.  Doctors need to go back on their records and see how many people have came in for the same complaints. 

  4. Slowpoke says:

    The big issue with this one, is the drug resistance.