Mers: Young woman dies from the virus

Mers: Young woman dies from the virus



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More and more people infected with Mers worldwide
17.05.2014

Worldwide, more and more people are becoming infected with the deadly coronavirus Mers. Now the first two cases have also occurred in the Netherlands. The two patients had previously been to Saudi Arabia. The World Health Organization (WHO) still sees no global emergency at Mers.

Mers has now arrived in Europe The number of people infected with Mers is increasing worldwide. On Thursday, a second case of the dangerous coronavirus Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) also occurred in the Netherlands. According to the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), the woman became infected during a visit to Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, she was traveling with a family member whose illness had been announced on Wednesday. The patient is in quarantine in a hospital in the Dutch city of Zwolle. The woman's condition is stable. The infected man was treated in strict isolation in a hospital in The Hague. As the Yemeni news portal "Barakish.net" reported on Friday night, a mother of two has now died of the consequences of a Mers infection after several state hospitals refused to treat her. The patient ended up in a private clinic in the capital, Sanaa, where the doctors were not specialized in the Mers virus and could no longer save the woman.

New pathogen causes death more often For the first time, the Mers-CoV was identified in September 2012 in patients with a severe respiratory infection and is similar to the SARS virus. It can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and cough, but can also lead to severe pneumonia. In contrast to SARS, Mers also leads to kidney failure. In general, the new pathogen is considered less contagious, but causes death more often than is the case with many other infectious diseases. The new virus had started in Saudi Arabia. According to the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), 496 Mers cases have been confirmed worldwide. Even if the exact transmission path is still unclear, it is believed that camels and bats play a role in this. However, there is still no official confirmation of this.

Camels in Saudi Arabia to receive microchip, According to the United States Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30 percent of cases were fatal. A second Mers case has also recently emerged in the United States. The first patient in the state of Indiana is now on the mend, the second is isolated and is doing well. However, the Arabian Peninsula is most affected. According to official information, the infection in Saudi Arabia has so far led to the death of 142 people. As the Ministry of Health in Riyadh announced on Friday, two more women have now died. The authorities also found the virus in 14 other patients in the cities of Medina, Riyadh and Jeddah. Since the virus is believed to be transmitted by camels and dromedaries, the Saudi authorities recommend breeders and traders to follow safety precautions. In addition, all camels in Saudi Arabia are to be given a microchip that stores information about the breeders and the origin of the animals in order to prevent the deadly virus from spreading further. The two infected people in the Netherlands also visited a local dromedary farm during their trip to Saudi Arabia.

Pilgrimage could accelerate the global spread of the virus Experts fear that the global spread of the virus could accelerate due to the high number of pilgrims from all over the world who visit the holy places of Islam in Saudi Arabia every year. The pathogen has already appeared in the most important pilgrimage site for Muslims, in Mecca. Individual Muslim countries have already responded. After the first coronavirus death was reported in Malaysia in April, the Department of Health there has now warned against wearing a face mask during a pilgrimage to Mecca or Medina. Authorities in neighboring Indonesia even advised their Muslim authorities to postpone pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia until more is known about the causes of the infections. Two Indonesian citizens had been infected with Mers on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and had died in Bali or Sumatra this week. Three other infected are still in quarantine. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are again expected in Saudi Arabia, especially during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins in late June.

No international health emergency yet Even though the WHO is increasingly concerned about the spread of the virus, there are hardly any measures to counteract it. The organization said after meeting a disaster committee that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. The statement said that the fatal infectious disease does not yet constitute a "health emergency with international scope". All affected countries are called for better infection prevention and control. In addition, there must also be faster environmental and animal studies in order to gain knowledge about transmission routes and risk factors. Experts also recommend taking basic precautions when traveling to affected countries, such as keeping a distance from people with acute respiratory infections and avoiding contact with animals. In addition, general hygiene measures such as regular hand washing and the avoidance of undercooked meat as well as raw vegetables and unpeeled fruit are recommended. (ad)

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