My thanks to Gert van der Hoek on Flutrackers for finding the first press account, and Sharon Sanders for the Greek MOH press release, announcing that country’s first MERS coronavirus case. As with the Malaysian religious pilgrim who died earlier this week (see Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported (Fatal) Case Of MERS-CoV), this patient recently traveled to Jeddah.
You’ll find the (only slightly syntax-challenged) machine translation below:
April 18th, 2014
Athens, 1 8 April 2014
The HCDCP inform a laboratory confirmed case of infection with MERS - coronavirus in patients aged 69 years, a Greek resident of Saudi Arabia, who is hospitalized in stable condition.
The clinical picture of the patient was reviewed after arriving in our country on 17/04/2014 from Jeddah Saudi Arabia because of prolonged febrile for which was estimated at the district hospital. Due compatible clinical and epidemiological history of the patient was tested and found positive in two consecutive molecular tests in Greek Pasteur Institute.
The HCDCP has taken all necessary actions to track and monitor the contacts of the patient both during the voyage to Athens, in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority, the Aerougeionomeio and the airline, and during his stay in Greece in collaboration with the hospital inpatient, where they have done the necessary actions. All measures to prevent and control spread of the disease to safeguard public health in accordance with the guidelines of HCDCP, the European CDC and the World Health Organization (W OY ) have already been implemented. The patient with actions of the National Health Operations Centre (CERECO) is transferred to a special unit of respiratory diseases.
As already mentioned in our previous update (press release 03/06/2013) the MERS-coronavirus is a new member of the family of coronaviruses, which in 2012 was recognized as pathogenic for humans. The coronaviruses include both viruses that cause the common cold, and this causes the syndrome SARS. This new virus has no direct relationship with any of the other known coronaviruses, but disease accompanied by significant mortality.
Until 17 April 2014 declared the World Health Organization (WHO) total 243 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS - coronavirus including 93 deaths. Features according to the WHO last incident declared on 17.4.2014 concerns traveler from Jeddah in Malaysia.
The Greek case is 10 the case of infection with MERS - coronavirus diagnosed in Europe (in 5 different European countries: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy).
Until today confirmed cases of the disease occur mainly acute respiratory infection with fever, cough, and dyspnea, while highlighting the criticality of the application of strict rules of infection control to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital environment.
The precautionary measures are recommended for protection against MERS - coronavirus are those applicable to other viral respiratory infections, namely to avoid close contact with people who show symptoms of the disease (coughing, sneezing) and have recently traveled to areas risk (Arabian Peninsula). It highlights the search prompt medical evaluation in travelers returning from the Arabian Peninsula and exhibit similar symptoms within 14 days of their arrival.
The HCDCP is constantly vigilant regarding any further incidents detection in hospitals in the country. Under the International Health Regulations ( IHR ) and the EU obligations of the country HCDCP has been updated through the Early Warning System ( EWRS ) The European k as CDC (ECDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) about the incident and the steps taken in our country.
The HCDCP informs that in accordance with international epidemiological data and because they have taken in our country all appropriate public health measures are not expected spread of the disease and there is no reason for concern for the general population.
The plot, as they say, thickens . . . .