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MERS patient dies in Abu Dhabi

MERS patient dies in Abu Dhabi

The 73-year-old reportedly contracted the virus earlier this month

A 73-year-old in Abu Dhabi has passed away after contracting the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The patient was one of two cases reported to have contracted the virus earlier this month.

The second reported case has recovered and been discharged from hospital, official news agency WAM quoted the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi as confirming.

HAAD also confirmed that it is coordinating with the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Health and other relevant governmental entities, and has taken all necessary precautionary measures as per standards and recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

Globally, 1,632 MERS cases have been reported across 26 countries since September 2012, when the first case was identified, according to the WHO. Among those infected, at least 587 people have died.

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.

It began in Saudi Arabia and since then has spread to most of the Gulf states.

Earlier this month, Oman notified the WHO that a 44-year-man had contracted the virus in the country. On January 24, authorities in Thailand also confirmed that a 71-year-old man from Oman who travelled to Bangkok tested positive for MERS.

The UAE noted its first MERS case in February 2015, when a 38 year-old expat in Abu Dhabi was diagnosed with the virus. The patient later succumbed to the disease and passed away.

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