MERS-CoV Case Treated in Liverpool

Tim Locke

August 23, 2018

The first UK case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) since 2013 has been reported in Leeds. This brings the total number of UK diagnosed cases to 5.

Public Health England (PHE) says the patient was visiting Britain from the Middle East. Initially they received hospital treatment in Leeds before being transferred to the specialist respiratory infectious disease centre at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

PHE says the disease was contracted in the Middle East before the person came to the UK.

Although the risk of transmission is low, because prolonged close contact is required, PHE is urging healthcare professionals to be vigilant about patients presenting with unexplained and severe respiratory symptoms.

MERS-CoV symptoms include fever, cough and breathing problems.

The vigilance has also been requested due to increased travel to and from the UK to the Middle East for Hajj.

Dr Jenny Harries, PHE's deputy medical director at Public Health England, said: "The patient is thought to have contracted the infection whilst in the Middle East before travelling to the UK. Public Health England is following-up those who have had close and sustained contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.

"It is important to emphasise that although a case has been identified, the overall risk of disease transmission to the public is very low.

"As we've seen in previous cases, we have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission."

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