By Wafa A.Alkazzan
“Medical personnel have recorded one case of the Corona Virus (MERS) in Sana’a, the victim is a Yemeni works as an aeronautics engineer,” al-Thawra newspaper quoted Public Health Minister Ahmed al-Ansi as saying.
“The ministry is working in cooperation with the World Health Organization to confront this virus and is in direct and constant communication with all hospitals to receive information on any other suspected cases.”
MERS, which emerged in the Middle East in 2012, is from the same family as the SARS virus and can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia. Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping scientists and public health officials on high alert.
Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Tunisia as well as in several countries in Europe. Scientists are increasingly focused on a link between human infections and camels as a possible animal carrier of the virus.
The UAE news agency WAM said on Friday that an expatriate health worker had died from the virus, and five others had been infected in the Gulf state. This followed Saudi reports last week of two deaths and nine other cases of infection in the kingdom, including among hospital staff.
Its symptoms include influenza, congestion, coughing, fever, shortness of breath, headaches, and eventually, acute inflammation of the lung, and kidney failure. MES can be detected by laboratory tests, and citizens are advised to go to the hospital if there are any indications that they have the disease.
The best way to prevent the virus is to quarantine the infected, washing hands, and using respirators. Additionally, it is important to avoid closed and humid spaces, and ventilate rooms inside the house.