Turkey Reports First Case of MERS-CoV to WHO

On Oct. 17, 2014, WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO) was notified by the National IHR Focal Point for Turkey of a laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). On Oct. 11, 2014, the patient died. This is the first MERS-CoV case in Turkey.

The case is a 42-year-old male, Turkish citizen known to be working in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). On Sept. 25, 2014, the patient developed symptoms in Jeddah. Initially, he sought medical care in KSA; however, on Oct. 6, 2014, as symptoms worsened, he travelled with a direct flight from Jeddah to Hatay, Turkey. Upon his arrival, he was admitted to a local hospital. On Oct. 8, he was transferred to the University Hospital in Hatay.

Additional information about the flight and any contacts that may be linked to the same flight are now being investigated; the health condition of the cabin crew is being monitored. Also, contacts of the case during his symptomatic phase (Sept. 25 through Oct. 6, 2014) when he was still in Jeddah are being examined, including contacts in healthcare facilities in KSA. WHO EURO and EMRO (Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean) IHR Contact Points are facilitating direct communications between the IHR national focal points in Turkey and in KSA.

Globally, WHO has received notification of 883 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 319 related deaths.

Source: WHO