First case of MERS reported in Lebanon - health ministry

BEIRUT Thu May 8, 2014 1:47pm EDT

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Credit: Reuters/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - The first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus has been reported in Lebanon, the health ministry said on Thursday.

"One case of a patient suffering from coronavirus was diagnosed this afternoon, Thursday, May 8, 2014," a statement from the health minister's office said, adding the patient's health had improved after treatment.

The disease, a form of coronavirus, has killed 121 people in Saudi Arabia since it was identified two years ago.

In humans, MERS causes coughing, fever and pneumonia. Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.

(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Andrew Roche)

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