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Epidemiological update: First imported case of MERS-CoV in Greece

23 Apr 2014

​On 18 April 2014, the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) announced a laboratory confirmed case of MERS-CoV infection in a 69 year old male patient. The individual is a Greek citizen, permanently residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who arrived in Athens on 17 April on a flight via Amman, Jordan. Close contact tracing is ongoing; there are no suspected or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection associated with this individual to date.

The individual first sought medical attention with signs of illness on 8 April in Jeddah and was discharged on 10 April with a diagnosis of probable typhoid fever. His wife was hospitalised in the same hospital in Jeddah from 31 March to 5 April with laboratory confirmed typhoid fever. He sought medical attention the same day of his arrival in Greece (17 April 2014) for prolonged fever and diarrhea.

The patient is currently in stable condition receiving antimicrobial therapy and oseltamivir.
 
As of 22 April 2014, 333 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 107 deaths. Of these, only fifteen have been reported outside of the Middle East including only ten in Europe.
 
ECDC is working closely with KEELPNO, the World Health Organization and other international partners with regard to this public health event.
 
In earlier Rapid Risk Assessments, ECDC concluded that the risk of importation of MERS-CoV to the EU was expected to continue and the risk of secondary transmission in the EU remains low.  ECDC is currently revisiting its Rapid Risk Assessment which will be published in the coming days.
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