SANAA, April 13 Yemen reported its first case of
the deadly MERS coronavirus on Sunday in a further spread of the
deadly strain in the Middle East two years after its outbreak in
neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
"Medical personnel have recorded one case of the coronavirus
in Sanaa and the victim is a Yemeni man who works as an
aeronautics engineer," the semi-official al-Thawra newspaper
quoted Public Health Minister Ahmed al-Ansi as saying.
"The ministry is working in effective cooperation with the
World Health Organisation to confront this virus and is in
direct and constant communication with all hospitals to receive
information on any other suspected cases," Ansi said.
MERS, which emerged in the Middle East in 2012, is from the
same family as the SARS virus and can cause coughing, fever and
Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly
small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases
and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping
scientists and public health officials on alert.
Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait,
Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Tunisia as well
as in several countries in Europe. Scientists are increasingly
focused on a link between human infections and camels as a
possible "animal reservoir" of the virus.
The UAE news agency WAM said on Friday an expatriate health
worker had died from the virus and five others had been infected
in the Gulf state. This followed Saudi reports last week of two
deaths and nine other cases of infection in the kingdom,
including among hospital staff.
(Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; editing
by Sami Aboudi)