A 48-year-old man has become the eighth person to be diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Qatar, the Supreme Council of Health has announced.

The man, who suffers from chronic diseases, is currently being treated in Hamad Hospital’s intensive care unit. His family members and others who have come into close contact with him have so far tested negative for the virus.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old man who was diagnosed with MERS last month in Qatar but exhibited mild symptoms has recovered, the SCH said.

According to the World Health Organization, that expat had worked in an “animal barn” of a 61-year-old Qatari man who also contracted the virus, but was later discharged from the hospital.

Latest numbers

WHO’s latest health update on the MERS virus states that from September 2012 to Nov. 4, there have been 150 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 64 deaths. In Qatar, three people have died after contracting the virus.

The numbers do not include this week’s reports about a female resident of Spain who is thought to have gotten MERS while performing Hajj. She was diagnosed with the virus once she returned back home.

In a statement, WHO added:

“Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with shock. It is possible that severely immunocompromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms.”

Anyone with questions or concerns about MERS in Qatar can call the SCH’s 24/7 hotline: +974-6674-0951.

source: dohanews