A case of MERS coronavirus infection has been traced to Greece. The patient who arrived from Saudi Arabia is in a stable condition, the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) reports.
The MERS coronavirus infection has been confirmed in a 69-year-old Greek permanently residing in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. He arrived in Greece on 17 April and was hospitalized due to feeling unwell. The research was made by the Hellenic Pasteur Institute laboratory.
The Centre took all required actions for tracking and monitoring the patient’s contacts, both during his flight to Athens and his stay in Greece. The former was done in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Department and the airline. All steps for prevention and control of the disease, as well as guaranteeing public health in keeping with the guiding principles of KEELPNO, European public health authorities and WHO have been taken, the Centre reports.
MERS stands for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which refers to coronaviruses causing flu-like diseases and was found pathogenic for humans in 2012. Coronaviruses comprise both viruses causing common cold and viruses causing SARS atypical pneumonia (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The new virus has no direct relationship with any other identified virus.
According to figures before 17 April 2014, WHO reported 243 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection, including 93 fatal cases. The latest case of infection was confirmed in a passenger who arrived in Malaysia from Jidda on 17 April this year.
The Greek passenger’s case is the tenth case of infection in Europe.