First MERS-afflicted patient reported in Qatar
The Supreme Council of Health in Qatar confirmed that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) has infected a 59-year old Qatari man. According to the Gulf Times, he was diagnosed with the disease after a series of tests at the National Influenza Laboratory. Relevant treatment has been administered to him and he is currently reported to be in stable condition.
This is not the first case of a Qatari citizen contracting the virus. In June this year, a 49-year old Qatari was diagnosed with the same virus and he was rushed for treatment to a hospital in London in September 2012, where he died. A Tunisian national too was reported to have contracted the virus during his stay in Qatar, but he died in Tunisia.
The coronavirus, which was first detected by scientists in September 2012, has claimed nearly 150 human lives in the GCC and around the world so far, including deaths in Saudi Arabia. The World Health Organization has reported a total of 94 laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases. This also includes 46 deaths. In September 2011, it was detected among animals in Saudi Arabia too.
Although this is the first Qatari national to have been diagnosed with the disease within the country and a cure hasn’t been found yet, Hamad Medical Corporation has prepared to combat the disease adequately by setting up enough rooms at the hospital and setting up a Coronavirus public awareness website. There is also a 24/7 hotline to call – 6674 0948.