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Monday, March 1, 2021

25-year-old Qatar man contracts MERS virus

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Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Lesley Walker/Doha News

A 25-year-old man has been diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), in the second case Qatar has seen this year.

The patient had sought medical advice at a primary healthcare center in Qatar after suffering from fever, cough and body pain for several days, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) said.

He tested posted for MERS and was admitted to the hospital in stable condition.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Claus Rebler/Flickr

Health officials are working to identify the possible source of infection, as the man had not traveled out of the country recently, or been in contact with anyone else with MERS.

Other patients

MERS is a viral respiratory illness, and can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, coughing, a sore throat and in some cases, diarrhea.

MERS. Credit: BSIP/UIG

Last month, Qatar’s first MERS case of 2017 was announced. The 62-year-old expat was admitted to Hamad Hospital after being diagnosed with the virus.

As with the most recent case, the patient had not traveled outside the country or been in contact with symptomatic people in the weeks leading up to his illness.

The man experienced fever, night sweats and abdominal pain before testing positive for MERS.

He has since fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital, MOPH said yesterday.

Camel link

Overall, the country has seen 20 cases of MERS since the virus was discovered in 2012, seven of them fatal.

The vast majority of cases worldwide in the past five years have originated in Saudi Arabia.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Chantelle D’mello / Doha News

Studies are ongoing to find out how the disease spreads. Due to links to camels, people with chronic health conditions, the young and the elderly are advised against contact with the animals.

A vaccine against the illness is now in the works and is expected to be out by the end of the year, officials previously said.

The ministry has urged residents with any questions about the virus to call two 24-hour hotlines at 6674 0948 and 6674 0951.

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