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First case of the dangerous MERS virus in Greece

20 April 2014 / 14:04:59  GRReporter
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The first case of the dangerous MERS virus in Greece concerns a resident of Saudi Arabia, who arrived in Athens on Holy Thursday, and is now in hospital in stable condition for treatment. The Centre for Control and Prevention of Disease is tracking the contacts which the infected had and the taxi driver who picked him up from Athens airport is also being sought for.

According to the information of the Centre, the 69-year-old patient, who is of Greek origin, had a fever when he arrived from Jeddah on 17 April, and tests showed that he had an MERS infection - Middle East respiratory syndrome. The virus, which is similar to the virus which causes SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, can cause deadly pneumonia.

Of the 243 confirmed cases to date worldwide, 93 had a deadly outcome.

Cases have been registered in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Tunisia and Malaysia. The case in Greece is the tenth in Europe.

For the detection of people who are likely to have been exposed to the virus, the Centre for Control and Prevention of Disease calls the taxi driver who drove the patient from the airport near Amfialis, Keratsini, between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on 17 April, to contact the centre.

It is possible that coronavirus MERS is transmitted to humans by camels, but it is unknown whether it is transmitted through the air or otherwise.

As the Centre for Control and Prevention of Disease noted, the World Health Organization has not recommend the necessity of taking measures at borders.

The 69-year-old patient was isolated in a stable condition in a negative pressure chamber, which is designed to prevent the escape of germs.

Guidelines for the identification of cases of MERS have been sent to all hospitals.

Tags: MERS dangerous virus Saudi Arabia
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