MERS – Oman

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A 34-year-old man from Al Dhahira (Ad Dhahirah), Oman is positive with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and remains critically unstable. This is likely the result of having direct contact with animals including dromedaries, sheep and goats at his family farm in Oman.

The man had developed symptoms such as shortness of breath, a high-grade fever and dry cough, which lasted for 6 days. He was then taken to the emergency department of a hospital where he was found to be in severe respiratory distress, febrile and hypotensive; as a result he was diagnosed with clinical pneumonia, alongside fluid collection in the lung and was then admitted to the isolation ward. His condition did not improve leading him to be transferred to a negative pressure isolation room until his condition worsened even more to the point where he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and placed on mechanical ventilation. He still remains crticially unstable. Various tests were performed and concluded that he tested positive for MERS-CoV.

There is no history of contact with any similar cases, no history of travel or previous hospitalization. Additionally, no secondary cases have been reported. However, the patient has a history of direct contact with animals including dromedaries, sheep and goats at his family farm in Oman.

There have been various public health responses including close monitoring of contacts, training courses and measures that have been implemented. WHO has also given advice on MERS-CoV cases as a whole.

Photo: MERS-CoV particles electron micrograph.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), also known as camel flu, is a viral respiratory infection. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe and frequently include fever, cough, diarrhea and shortness of breath. The disease is typically more severe in those with other health problems.

MERS is a coronavirus believed to be originally from bats.

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