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Abu Dhabi confirms new MERS virus case

Abu Dhabi confirms new MERS virus case

The infected person is “receiving the medical care required”

One new case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has been detected in Abu Dhabi, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) announced on Tuesday.

The infected person is “receiving the medical care required”, official news agency WAM reported.

HAAD confirmed that it is coordinating with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and other relevant governmental entities, and has taken all necessary measures as per standards and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The last reported MERS case in the UAE was in Abu Dhabi in June last year, when a 37-year-old expatriate man was infected with the virus.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1936 laboratory confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 690 related deaths.

Several of those cases have been registered in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East.

Last month, the virus was also detected in a 62-year-old person in Doha, Qatar.

MERS, a virus similar to SARS, is a respiratory disease that causes coughing, fever and breathing problems, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

The virus is known to be contracted through exposure to infected individuals, from hospitals and by direct contact with camels – believed to be carriers of the virus.

So far, the observed human-to-human transmission has occurred mainly in health care settings, according to the WHO.

“Until more is understood about MERS-CoV, people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, and immunocompromised persons are considered to be at high risk of severe disease from MERS‐CoV infection. Therefore, these people should avoid close contact with animals, particularly camels, when visiting farms, markets, or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating,” the WHO has advised.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has also cautioned the public to wash their hands often with soap and water, use hand sanitiser, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue into a rubbish bin.

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