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First case of MERS confirmed in Qatar

Written by Editorial Team |Published : October 14, 2014 11:21 AM IST

Qatar's Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has confirmed a new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) case in the country, the first case reported this year after a gap of more than 10 months, media reported Monday. A 71-year-old Qatari has tested positive for the deadly virus, also known as Corona, The Peninsula reported citing SCH.

This takes the total number of MERS cases in Qatar to 10. Seven Qataris and three expatriates have been infected until now and of them three Qataris and two expatriates have died. The last MERS case in the country was reported in November 2013. In the latest case, the victim developed the symptoms when he was on a visit to Saudi Arabia, the report said. (Read: 12 fast facts about MERS-CoV)

What is MERS? Is it an emergency?

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MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a respiratory illness. It is caused by a type of virus belonging to the coronavirus family. Based on what has been recorded, the incubation period (time between when a person is exposed to and when they start to have symptoms) for MERS is 2-14 days, says Dr Vivek Singh, consultant pulmonologist, FMRI, Gurgaon.

Symptoms of MERS

The main symptoms of MERS that you need to look out for include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Other symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, headache and chills may also occur. Some people also had gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Some of them developed serious complications like pneumonia and kidney failure. According to statistics, nearly 30% of people with MERS died due to these complications. Those who had had mild symptoms recovered, says Dr Singh. Read more about MERS causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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