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On April 18, 2014, the Ministry of Health of Greece reported one laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The patient is a 69-year-old male Greek citizen residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who traveled back to Greece on April 17. While in Jeddah, the patient visited a hospital on April 8 and April 10 for a febrile illness with diarrhea, and was given a probable diagnosis of typhoid fever. Of note, he regularly visited his wife who was hospitalized from March 31 to April 5 in the same hospital for a confirmed typhoid fever.
The patient sought medical care upon arrival in Greece on April 17. The evaluation revealed a bilateral pneumonia and the diagnosis of MERS-CoV infection was made at the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza. The patient is in stable condition and is receiving appropriate treatment.
This is the first case of MERS-CoV infection in the country.
Individuals who had close contacts with the case in the plane, the hospital in Greece and in the community have been identified and are being followed up. So far, none of the contacts became ill. Hellenic health authorities issued a press release to inform the population and informed all Greek hospitals on measures that need be taken to identify suspect patients and implement appropriate preventive measures.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been informed of a total of 250 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 93 deaths.