Last weekend in Turkey Announces MERS Fatality – ex KSA we first learned of a recently exported case fatal case of MERS to Turkey. On Wednesday we saw the ECDC’s Epidemiological Update – MERS In Turkey (ex KSA), while today we have the official update from the World Health Organization.
Although the MERS coronavirus has been largely supplanted in the newspaper headlines by Ebola, it continues to simmer on the Arabian peninsula, and occasionally gets exported to other regions of the world. The concern is that we could see the same kind of winter-spring surge in cases that we saw last year.
Disease Outbreak News
24 October 2014
On 17 October 2014, WHO EURO was notified by the National IHR Focal Point for Turkey of a laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). On 11 October 2014, the patient died. This is the first MERS-CoV case in Turkey.
Details of the case are as follows:
The case is a 42-year-old male, Turkish citizen known to be working in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). On 25 September 2014, the patient developed symptoms in Jeddah. Initially, he sought medical care in KSA; however, on 6 October 2014, as symptoms worsened, he travelled with a direct flight from Jeddah to Hatay, Turkey. Upon his arrival, he was admitted to a local hospital. On 8 October, he was transferred to the University Hospital in Hatay.
Public health response
Additional information about the flight and any contacts that may be linked to the same flight are now being investigated; the health condition of the cabin crew is being monitored. Also, contacts of the case during his symptomatic phase (25 September - 6 October 2014) when he was still in Jeddah are being examined, including contacts in health care facilities in KSA. WHO EURO and EMRO IHR Contact Points are facilitating direct communications between the IHR NFP Turkey and KSA.
Globally, WHO has received notification of 883 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 319 related deaths.