Late yesterday afternoon (EDT) sparse news reports began to appear on the wires indicating that Qatar had diagnosed a MERS-CoV case (see Crofsblog Qatar: New MERS case & Qatar: Still no real news on the new MERS case). Repeated checks to the Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health since that time have failed to turn up any official announcement.
Perhaps the closest thing we have right now is the following, from the Qatar News Agency (h/t Sharon Sanders on FluTrackers).
Doha, August 20 / Qena / Supreme Council of Health registered new cases of Corona virus that causes respiratory syndrome Middle East for a patient diagonal at the age of 59 years.
The council said in a press statement today that the patient was out of the country and felt symptoms before coming to the state, and upon arrival it was detected and diagnosed with the disease in the National Influenza Laboratory, stressing that "the patient Atqly treatment right now is in stable condition" ..
The statement emphasized the continued tightening of surveillance and monitoring procedures and infection control for all cases of acute respiratory infections, especially for those coming from the travel .. He pointed out that all the samples are examined at the National Influenza Laboratory in coordination with HMC.
The Supreme Council is keen to inform the health of citizens and residents to new information or health and epidemiology of infectious diseases and provide them with the latest developments and to provide appropriate support when needed.
The Council has recently launched an electronic page awareness about HIV Corona, through his website, a hotline devoted to inquire about the virus or any other infectious disease around the clock at (66,740,948)
A related report printed today in Al-Sharq, also posted by Sharon on Flutrackers, carries an interview with Dr. Mohammad Al-Hajri, Director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases for Qatar, which primarily provides assurances that the health sector and Qatar’s government are working together to protect the public against this virus.
The upshot is that 16 hours after the first announcement all we really know is that a 59 year-old Qatari has been diagnosed with MERS-CoV, that he fell ill while out of the country, and was hospitalized when he returned to Qatar.
Where he was when he fell ill, what contacts he may have had, even an onset date, are not given.
A final note that may be of some assistance to others looking for information. After multiple visits to Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health Website overnight I found my browser blocked from accessing the site.
I was directed to an error page that read:
The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator
I was able to restore access by deleting numerous cookies left behind by the sch.gov.qa website on my computer.
Quick Update: I just talked to Sharon Sanders at FluTrackers, and she reports that her access to the Qatar Supreme Health Council site has been blocked as well.