A 49-year-old man who was flown to St Thomas’ Hospital in London suffering from kidney failure and acute respiratory distress due to the MERS-nCV virus died on June 28th the hospital has confirmed.
He was flown to London from Qatar in September last year. This case brings the number of deaths to 41, of a total of 77 who have been infected with the virus.
Cases have been confirmed in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
In a statement the World Health Organization said:
The greatest global concern is about the potential for this new virus to spread.This is partly because the virus has already caused severe disease in multiple countries, although in small numbers, and has persisted in the [Middle East] region since 2012. Of most concern, however, is the fact that the different clusters seen in multiple countries increasingly support the hypothesis that when there is close contact this novel coronavirus can transmit from person to person. (Source)
The virus possibly has its reservoir in bats. This would make it yet another zoonotic disease that has made the jump from animal to man. Experts writing in the journal mBio have stated that the virus is closely related but distinct to others circulating in the bat population.
MERS-nCV causes a variety of symptoms; most commonly cough, fever, breathing difficulties and pneumonia. The World Heath Organization advises anyone who has traveled to the Arab Peninsula and who develops such symptoms to seek medical help as a matter of urgency.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple, where this article first appeared. Wake the flock up!