Fatal MERS case reported in Kuwait

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome | Courtesy of the CDC
The National International Health Regulations focal point of Kuwait notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a fatal case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) on Sept. 19.

With this report, WHO officials encourage continued surveillance for respiratory infections and any unusual patterns, and health care workers are advised to apply standard precautions during the care process for all patients. They state that measures of protection and control are crucial to preventing further spread of MERS or related diseases.

The individual was a 78-year-old who had developed symptoms of infection beginning on Sept. 9. It is noted that the patient suffered from other conditions that acted as comorbidities to MERS. He died Sept. 19.

Kuwait officials state that contract tracing is in progress. The patient owned and had frequent contact with dromedary camels, a known reservoir for the virus.

WHO reports 1,570 confirmed cases and at least 555 fatalities from MERS. Not much is known about the disease, but those with renal failure, diabetes, chronic lung disease and immunocompromised individuals are considered to be at the greatest risk for severe MERS-related complications.

The WHO does not recommend the restriction of travel or trade in relation to this report.

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