The Turkey Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported the first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) fatality in a citizen who recently returned from Saudi Arabia, according to a report (computer translated).

Turkey Image/CIA

The Turkish male was suffering from respiratory problems prior to his travel to Turkey on Monday, Oct. 6. He later died at a Ankara hospital five days later.

A statement from the MOH says, “Patient samples analyzed by  the Ministry of Public Health Institute of Microbiology Reference Laboratory confirmed the patient was positive for the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV).”

Passengers and crew on the airline the now deceased patient traveled on are now being contacted so they can be monitored for the disease.

In Saudi Arabia, a clusters of MERS has been reported the western city of Ta’if in Mecca province. In less than 5 weeks, 10 confirmed MERS cases have been reported in the city.

The latest numbers from the World Health Organization shows that  877 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV have been reported,  including at least 317 related deaths. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page