Although the vast majority of MERS-CoV cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, neighboring Qatar has identified its first case of 2017.
In related news, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday posted a report on four outbreaks of MERS in Saudi camels.
Qatar patient an expatriate
According to a statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease blog, Qatar's Ministry of Health said the case of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infection does not appear to be travel related but instead is likely locally acquired.
The patient was identified as a 62-year-old male expatriate. His case raises Quatar's total to 19 since MERS-CoV was first detected in that country in 2012. The Ministry of Health said 7 of those 19 patients have died.
The newly reported patient was said to be suffering from comorbidities, including chronic illnesses, and did not report traveling outside the country or having contact with any symptomatic people in recent weeks. He had a fever, night sweats, and abdominal pain before testing positive for the virus.
The World Health Organization is conducting follow-up testing, the health ministry said.
So far Saudi Arabia has reported by far the most cases since 2012, a total of 1,580, including 659 deaths.
MERS in 4 Saudi camel herds
In other MERS news, the OIE released four reports on the disease found on camel farms, according to Saudi agriculture officials. The Saudi government often investigates camels, known reservoirs for MERS-CoV, in the case of nearby human detection.
The investigations are ongoing and began in early February. The farms are in the western part of Saudi Arabia. A total of 7 of 28 camels had the disease, and no animals died.
Mar 22 Avian Flu Diary post
Mar 21 OIE report