Dubai Expo 2020 recommends postponing a year amid virus    US expected to renew sanctions waivers allowing Iran nonproliferation work: Sources    How will we vote? Outbreak revives debate mail-in ballots    Poland vote could be postponed if safety not guaranteed: President    What you need to know about the Central Bank of Egypt's new cash deposits and daily withdrawal limits    Saudi, UAE businesses battle cash crunch despite anti-coronavirus stimulus    Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug 2021: Organizing committee    Iran's coronavirus death toll reaches 2,757: Health official        Serie A hits back at Italy sports minister Spadafora over 'bubble' remark    Drop in China's new coronavirus cases; none in Wuhan for sixth day    Egypt's FRA launches policies for micro-finance activity amid coronavirus    Mourinho to take Tottenham training via video amid coronavirus lockdown    Egypt's defender Elmohamady proud of 10-year milestone in England    Facebook users add ‘Stay At Home' frame to profile photos    How coronavirus affects real estate market in Santa Clarita Valley    UK epidemic is slowing and antibody test could be ready in days, top epidemiologist says    Twitter removes 2 Bolsonaro tweets questioning coronavirus quarantine    Egypt to extend closing mosques over coronavirus fears – minister    El-Tayeb urges Egyptians to stick to coronavirus preventative measures    Egypt, MENA growth forecast at 2.7%, -0.3% respectively: IIF    Prosecution warns of EGP 300k fine or 2-year jail for spreading fake coronavirus news    Al-Sisi discusses joint coronavirus efforts with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince    Saudi Arabia intercepts missiles over Riyadh    CBE temporarily regulates cash deposits, withdrawals    Lagging COVID-19 response to shield frail economy: Rouhani    Apple works with US House to release coronavirus app, website    California's houisng market unclear after new restrictions amid coronavirus    Farwell to Egyptian comedian George Sidhom    Weekend's virtual concerts, plays, and festivals people can stream at home    Egyptian comedy icon George Sidhom dies at 81    Shooting Egypt's Ramadan television series in the time of coronavirus    Egyptian court sentences five to death for vandalising gas pipeline, killing nine    Amid coronavirus outbreak, Egyptian Premier League cancellation seems inevitable    Brazilian football stadiums transformed into hospitals to treat coronavirus patients    Stay At Home: Ministry of Culture to publish free books online for public browsing    ‘We are here to boost the morale': Ahmed Zeidan, Egypt's ROOM Art Space& Café    IOC postpones Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus pandemic    Playing for time    Water effects of the dam    What to watch to kill time in quarantine?    Japan PM Abe agree on delaying the Tokyo Olympics for one year    Ethiopia has not sent Egypt latest designs for GERD: Minister of Irrigation    Al-Sisi appreciates Kenya's support to Egypt's stance on GERD    Nigerien President hails Egypt's diplomatic attempts to reach agreement over GERD    Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson announced both test positive for coronavirus    Cairo court acquits Mubarak's sons of stock market manipulation    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





First US case of deadly MERS virus confirmed
Published in Ahram Online on 04 - 05 - 2014

A healthcare worker who had traveled to Saudi Arabia was confirmed as the first U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS), an often fatal illness, raising new concerns about the rapid spread of such diseases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.
The male patient traveled via a British Airways flight on April 24 from Riyadh to London, where he changed flights at Heathrow airport to fly to the United States. He landed in Chicago and took a bus to an undisclosed city in Indiana.
On April 27, he experienced respiratory symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the man visited the emergency department at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, on April 28 and was admitted that same day.
Because of his travel history, Indiana health officials tested him for MERS, and sent the samples to the CDC, which confirmed the presence of the virus on Friday.
The virus is similar to the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which emerged in China in 2002-2003 and killed some 800 people. It was first detected inSaudi Arabia in 2012. Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call the first U.S. case of MERS was "of great concern because of its virulence," proving fatal in about a third of infections.
She said the case represents "a very low risk to the broader general public," but MERS has been shown to spread to healthcare workers and there are no known treatments for the virus.
Schuchat said the patient was now in stable condition and there are no other suspected cases of MERS at the current time.
The CDC declined to identify the patient by name or say where he was being treated. It also declined to say on which airlines or bus line the patient traveled. Schuchat said the CDC was working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to contact individuals who may have been exposed to the patient during his travels.
In Britain, public health officials said they were contacting any passengers who had been sitting near the patient.
Greg Cunningham, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Aviation, said that the department "has been advised that there is no reason to suspect any risk at O'Hare," Chicago's main international airport. "There has only been one incident confirmed to have MERS, and he is hospitalized in Indiana," he said.
Officials at Community Hospital in Munster confirmed that the man was in good condition, and said the hospital is "maintaining appropriate isolation protocols for the protection of health care staff."
The hospital, located in northwest Indiana about 30 miles (48 km) from Chicago, said it has been working with the CDC and the state health department, and will be tracking the health of the patient's family members and exposed health care workers daily during the next two weeks to check for MERS symptoms.
"This patient was not out in the local community and, therefore, any public exposure was minimal," the hospital said in the statement.
The hospital stressed that transmission of MERS requires close contact, and said the patient's activities in the United States have been very limited, reducing the risk of widespread transmission of the virus.
WORKING SURVEILLANCE
Although the vast majority of MERS cases have been in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East, the discovery of sporadic cases in Britain, Greece, France, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere have raised concerns about the potential global spread of the disease by infected airline passengers.
With the addition of the U.S. patient, 262 people in 12 countries have been confirmed to have MERS infections and have been reported to the World Health Organization. Of those, 93 have died, Schuchat said. Infectious disease specialists in the United States said that the fact the newest patient was identified quickly showed that disease surveillance was working.
“It was only a matter of time before the United States had a case,” said virologist Dr. W. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University in New York. “Most of us thought it was not a question of if, but when. Am I more concerned as a result of this case? No.”
“One case does not represent a reason for panic,” agreed Dr. Wayne Marasco, an infectious disease specialist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“But the very fact that we have a virus with documented person-to-person transmission at a fairly efficient rate and a high mortality rate suggests we have a potentially serious pathogen. There are no therapies out there that I'm aware of, but I don't think we have a very big risk in the United States.”
Marasco suggests that immigration agents should nevertheless be on heightened alert for passengers arriving in the United States after trips to the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
“They should ask, where did you travel? Have you had contact with animals, with anyone who was sick, and do you have a fever or cough?” he said.
Marasco does not believe that thermal scanners such as those China and other countries deployed during the 2003 SARS epidemic would make much of a difference. That's because the incubation period for MERS is two to 14 days, “so an asymptomatic traveler could make it through a thermal scanner,” Marasco said.
MYSTERY OF TRANSMISSION
The greatest reason for concern is that so little is known about this coronavirus. It has been found in bats and camels, and many experts say camels are the most likely animal reservoir from which humans become infected. [ID:nL6N0JV2DI]
In part, that ignorance is a result of the lack of cooperation between Middle Eastern countries, where MERS has been spreading, and scientists elsewhere. “One of the biggest problems is that we haven't had any access to samples from Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar despite my efforts,” Marasco said
Now that the United States has a case of MERS, there might be political pressure for that to change, suggested Lipkin, who pointed out that during the SARS epidemic, China was similarly reluctant to cooperate with western scientists.
“Now the U.S. is going to be more interested. I think it will have an impact on the number of scientists here who will be encouraged to work on MERS and congressmen will stand up and rail about the importance of this,” Lipkin said.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/100414.aspx


Clic here to read the story from its source.