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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saudi Arabia : Camel with MERS-CoV had signs of illness

From Robert Roos at CIDRAP :

A camel that might have passed the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to its Saudi Arabian owner had signs of illness, a Saudi health official said today in revealing a little more information about the situation.
Saudi officials reported yesterday that a camel had tested positive for MERS-CoV, a few days after its owner, a 43-year-old man from Jeddah, was confirmed to have the virus. The case marks the first time of the virus has been found in an animal.
In a ProMED-mail post today, Ziad A. Memish, MD, the Saudi deputy minister for public health, wrote, "Camels owned by the patient which were symptomatic with fever and rhinorrhea were tested for MERS-CoV and tested positive." ProMED-mail is the online reporting service of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.
Memish added, "This is the first time that a camel related to a case tests positive for MERS-CoV by PCR. Further testing is ongoing to sequence the patient [virus] and the camel virus and compare genetic similarity level to conclude causality."
He also said the 43-year-old patient, who has no underlying chronic diseases, is still in an intensive care unit.
His comments left it unclear whether more than one camel tested positive for the virus. Today the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) posted an English-language version of yesterday's Arabic statement about the findings, which said, "The initial laboratory test conducted on one of those animals was positive."

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