Third MERS death reported in Qatar
A 61-year old man, who had been suffering from chronic illnesses, has passed away after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Supreme Council of Health has said in a statement.
This is the third death reported in Qatar due to MERS. Officials have stated that the man is an expatriate but have not divulged any further information. The World Health Organization had stated, on November 15, about the patient, “He became ill on 4 November 2013, and was hospitalised on 7 November 2013. He is in critical condition. Preliminary epidemiological investigation indicates that the patient had exposure to farms where livestock is kept.”
In September, a Qatari man and a Qatari woman had succumbed to the respiratory illness. It is believed eight cases of MERS have been reported from within Qatar, and one Qatari man had contracted the illness in Saudi Arabia who thereafter sought treatment in London but passed away.
Reports suggest MERS is a mutation of the SARS virus originating from camels. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that most people who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.
CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils, with sick people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
In Qatar, around 70 suspected cases of the corona virus have been reported since September 2012, out of which two were confirmed.