United Arab Emirates (UAE) health officials reported  two additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) earlier this month. The two cases identified in Abu Dhabi, UAE, were roommates.

Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin/CDC
Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin/CDC

The first case was a 31-year-old that passed away on 16 April 2017. The second case was reported two days later. This case was identified through tracing of household contacts, is asymptomatic and has been admitted to a negative pressure isolation room on a ward in hospital. The source of infection of the 31-year-old MERS case is under investigation.

To date, United Arab Emirates has reported 81 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS. The last case was reported in June 2016.

Globally, since September 2012, 1938 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 691 related deaths have been reported to WHO.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.