Qatari health officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an additional Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case and death in a citizen.

 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) /CDC
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) /CDC

A 66-year-old, male, Qatari national developed symptoms on 18 February while in Saudi Arabia, where he had stayed for approximately 2 months. On 19 February, the patient sought health care in a hospital in El-Hassa Region, Saudi Arabia, where he was treated symptomatically and discharged.

The patient developed additional symptoms on 20 February. On the same day, as his condition deteriorated, the patient was transferred by ambulance to a hospital in Doha, Qatar. The patient, who was a heavy smoker and had comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 21 February. He passed away on 7 March.

The patient owned a camel barn in Saudi Arabia and frequently visited it. He had a history of frequent contact with the camels and of consumption of their raw milk. He had no history of contact with the other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

In Buraidah, Saudi Arabia, a MERS cluster has grown to 17 cases and 6 deaths in the past week. The total cases in the kingdom since 2012 is 1335 with 564 fatalities.

According to the WHO, globally, since September 2012, they have been notified of 1,652 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 591 related deaths.