Oman has reported a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in a 60-year-old man who didn't have direct contact with camels, though camel racing exercises were held near his house before he got sick.
In a notification today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the man's symptoms—including chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and fever—began on Dec 28, 2022, and he sought care at two healthcare facilities before he was hospitalized on Jan 2.
He was tested for MERS-CoV the next day, which revealed his infection with the virus. His condition improved, and he was discharged from the hospital on Jan 16. No other illnesses were found in the man's contacts, which included 51 healthcare workers. Seven of the man's 76 contacts had mild respiratory symptoms, but all tested negative for MERS-CoV.
Investigators found that the man, who worked as a driving instructor, had no history of contact with camels, goats, or sheep, and did not have any exposure to camel products, milk, or urine. However, camel racing exercises had taken place near his house in North Batinah governorate, which is in the far northwestern part of the country.
MERS case-fatality rate 36%
Oman reported its last case in May 2022, which involved a farmer from Al Dhahira governorate, also in the northwest, who had direct contact with camels.
The case marks the 26th in Oman and lifts the global total to 2,603, of which 935 were fatal, for a 36% case-fatality rate. The virus was first detected in humans in 2012, and the vast majority of cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia