x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Emirati man who contracted Mers coronavirus dies in UAE

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that the man's wife has also contracted the disease.

DUBAI // An Emirati man who contracted the Mers coronavirus has died and his wife has the deadly disease, the World Health Organisation has confirmed.

The man, 68, was taken to hospital in Dubai last month after showing symptoms of the virus.

The WHO confirmed the patient, who suffered from diabetes and chronic kidney failure, died on December 22.

It said four days after his death, it was told his wife, 59, from Sharjah, had also been infected with the coronavirus.

She is reported to have no symptoms, no history of contact with animals and no recent travel history, and is in hospital under isolation, the WHO said.

People she may have come into contact with have been screened and tested negative for Mers, it said.

Five new cases have also been confirmed in Saudi Arabia.

They include a man, 57, from Riyadh who has underlying health conditions. He is in an intensive care unit. The WHO said he had no known exposure to animals or any history of travel outside of Riyadh.

The second case is a 73-year-old man from Riyadh who developed respiratory symptoms and was later confirmed to have Mers. He died on December 17.

The three other cases, two men and a female, are healthcare workers who have not been reported to have symptoms.

In November, a Jordanian man, his wife and their son, 8, were confirmed as having contracted the virus. The family, who live in Abu Dhabi, were taken to hospital for treatment.

The 32-year-old mother, who was eight months pregnant, died shortly after giving birth by caesarean section.

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi said her 38-year-old husband and son were stable. The newborn, close family members and healthcare workers were being monitored.

Globally, from September 2012 to now, WHO has been told of 176 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Mers, including 74 deaths.

The WHO’s emergency committee held a meeting on December 4, at which it called for countries to strengthen their surveillance.

The next meeting is due in March.

jbell@thenational.ae