Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS is discovered in a patient in England. According to Public Health England, this is the first case since 2013. The person is the fifth ever to be diagnosed with the deadly disease in the country.
MERS current case:
The patient infected with MERS belongs to the Middle East he traveled to the UK through Saudi Arabian Airlines flight. He is assumed to have fallen sick after flying to Britain. Initially, the person was admitted to a hospital in Leeds after which he is transferred to the Royal Liverpool Hospital in Liverpool. The hospital specializes in dealing with respiratory infectious diseases. The patient is presently is in a stable condition and is receiving the essential treatment.
According to the deputy medical director of Public Health England, Dr. Jenny Harries, “The patient is thought to have contracted the infection while in the Middle East before traveling to the UK.”
Officials are now on a hunt to find the passengers who sat near the patient and might have had immediate and sustained contact with him while flying to the UK. This is a normal robust infection control procedure followed by health agencies while dealing with a situation like this so that to offer guidance and checkups to prevent the spread of disease.
What is MERS?
The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), also known as camel flu, is a viral respiratory disease brought on by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The virus belongs to the same family of viruses that contain severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a disease that troubled the world from November 2002 and July 2003, resulting in 774 deaths in 37 countries.
MERS symptoms include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, kidney failure, and gastrointestinal issues. However, not all of those infected showed these signs. The disease is more troubling for those who are already into some kind health issues.
MERS-CoV is a betacoronavirus originated from bats. Camels have antibodies to MERS-CoV, but the exact source of virus in camels has not been discovered. It is believed that camels are involved in spreading the disease to humans which usually involves close contact with an infected camel.
According to WHO, in 2012, the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was detected in humans; however, there have been 2229 confirmed-laboratory cases of infection with MERS-CoV, which resulted in 791 deaths.
As of 2016, there was no vaccine or treatment for the disease. The World Health Organization proposed that those who come in direct contact with camels should wash their hands habitually and must not touch sick camels.