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WHO identifies first case of MERS-CoV in UAE this year

According to WHO, a first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-COV) has been identified in a 28-year old male from United Arab  Emirates (UAE).

What’s in News?

WHO has identified the first case of MERS-CoV in 28-year old male from United Arab Emirates (UAE). WHO stated that the patient is a resident of AI Ain city in Abu Dhabi. He had no travel history and had not come in direct or indirect contact with dromedaries (camels), goats or sheep.

The first case of MERS-CoV was reported in UAE in 2013. Till date, UAE has reported 94 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. Globally, the total number of cases of MERS-CoV since 2012 is 2,605 including 936 associated deaths.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome caused by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus, which is transmitted between animals and people. MERS-CoV has been identified and linked to human infections in dromedary camels in several Member States in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Human-to-Human transmission is possible and has occurred predominately among close contacts and in health-care settings. Outside the health-care settings, there has been limited human-to-human transmission.


MERS symptoms can range from mild to serve. People with mild MERS infection may not receive a correct diagnosis. The common symptoms of MERS infection are:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle and stomach pain and soreness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Patients with severe symptoms may develop pneumonia. They may also experience breathing failure, kidney damage, high fevers and even death.

The main symptoms of MERS are flu-like and develop from 2 to 14 days after exposure.


According to the WHO, most of the cases of MERS-CoV in humans have been transmitted by people in healthcare environments. However, evidence suggests that dromedary camels could also be a source of infection of MERS-CoV in humans. Researchers have identified MERS-CoV in several camels in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Risk Factors

Old age people, people with health conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney disease or cancer and people with weakened immune system are more susceptible to MERS-CoV infection and complications.


To check for an active MERS-CoV infection, a doctor takes a sample from the person’s respiratory tract. The presence of the virus can be confirmed by the laboratory test which includes polymerase chain reaction test.


According to the WHO, there is no cure or vaccine for MERS-CoV, but vaccines and treatments are under development. Healthcare professionals will work to relieve a person’s symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

People suffering from MERS-CoV may require oxygen therapy and stay in the intensive care unit.


  • Wash the hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Avoid undercooked meats and any food prepared in conditions that may not be hygienic.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Report any suspected case to local health authorities.
  • Wear a medical mask
  • Sneeze into a tissue and immediately dispose it.
  • Minimize close contact with anyone who develops an acute respiratory illness with fever.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if an acute respiratory illness with a fever develops within 14 days of returning from travel.

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