The Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reported the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) of the year in a 66 year old Qatari national yesterday.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus /National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID

The man developed symptoms of fever, cough, and diarrhea associated with abdominal pain upon returning from Saudi Arabia where he owns a sheep and camel barn.

He was taken to Hamad General Hospital (HGH) where laboratory tests detected MERS-CoV. The patient is currently in critical condition and was admitted to the ICU in restricted infection prevention and control measures at HGH.

Once the case has been confirmed, the rapid response team of the Health Protection and Communicable disease Control department at the MOPH has carried out extensive search to list all potential contacts with the purpose to verify their consistence with the standard case definition of the suspected cases based on the WHO guidelines.

All traced contacts will be monitored over a period of two weeks, while those who develop suspected symptoms will then be subject to laboratory investigation.

This is the first MERS-CoV case in Qatar since May 2015 and the 14th case overall.