Date: 2 Feb 2015
Source: The Peninsula Qatar [edited]
The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has reported a new MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) case in Qatar, which is the 1st confirmed case since the beginning of this year .
A 55 year old expatriate patient has tested positive for the deadly virus, the SCH said yesterday [1 Feb 2015]. The last MERS case in the country was reported in October last year [2014 - see MERS-CoV (52): Saudi Arabia, Qatar, WHO 20141104.2928160; MERS-CoV (42): Saudi Arabia, Qatar 20141024.2894667; and MERS-CoV (34): Qatar, Saudi Arabia, new case, RFI 20141012.2856064), involving a 43 year old citizen. The total number of MERS cases in Qatar has now reached a dozen.
The patient had been suffering from fever for 4 days along with joint pain. He was transferred to the Hamad General Hospital [in Doha] where he is currently undergoing treatment. The infection was confirmed after tests conducted at the national reference laboratory in Doha, SCH said.
"The Rapid Response Team of the SCH conducted an epidemiological investigation including line listing of all close contacts to the infected and initiated screening. Health education about preventive measures was given to the contacts while follow-up is on for any symptoms. Infection prevention and control measures in all health facilities have been re-enforced," said a SCH statement.
As a precaution, the SCH has advised people visiting farms, markets, barns, or other places where animals are present to practice general hygiene, including regular hand washing before and after touching animals, and avoiding contact with sick animals. People with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, and impaired immune responsiveness (immunocompromised) are considered to be at high risk of severe disease from MERS infection. They should avoid contact with camels, drinking raw camel milk, or eating meat that has not been properly cooked, SCH said.
[The media report above reflects the SCH announcement released yesterday, 1 Feb 2015 (<http://www.sch.gov.qa/news/sch-reports-a-new-case-of-mers-cov?backArt=131
>). In October 2014 there were 2 cases of MERS-CoV infection confirmed in Qatar (see prior ProMED-mail posts listed below). As a reminder, in the initial stages of recognition of the disease, 2 cases in Qatari nationals were treated in Europe -- one in the UK and the other in Germany.
The clinical description provided in the media report above (and on the SCH press release) is not a typical description -- fever and joint pains. Presumably there were respiratory symptoms leading the clinicians to send specimens for MERS-CoV testing. Information on possible high risk exposures would be greatly appreciated.
For the HealthMap/ProMED map of Qatar, see