Wednesday 30th, October 2013 / 01:25
By A Staff Reporter –
MUSCAT — The Sultanate yesterday reported the first case of the deadly MERS coronavirus. This was announced by Mohamed bin Saif al Hosni, Under-Secretary for Health Affairs.
Giving details of the case, he said that the situation is under control and there is no need for panic. The affected patient is undergoing treatment at a hospital and his condition is stable.
The official said the patient got the disease after contact with someone from outside the Sultanate and more details of the case will be known in few days.
Symptoms of MERS-CoV infection include renal failure and severe acute pneumonia, which often result in a fatal outcome. The first patient had a “7-day history of fever, cough, expectoration and shortness of breath.” MERS has an estimated incubation period of 12 days.
Like Sars, MERS appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulty. But it differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure and the extremely high death rate has caused serious concern.
To prevent the spread of disease, those with cold-like symptoms should cover their coughs and sneezes, wash hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid sharing cups and utensils. Potentially contaminated surfaces (such as countertops and doorknobs) should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has so far claimed 62 lives worldwide, with the greatest number of deaths in Saudi Arabia where the disease first appeared in September 2012, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).