August 23, 2018 / 3:11 PM / a month ago

Middle-East resident diagnosed with MERS in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - A person in northern England has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and is being treated at hospital in Liverpool, Public Health England said on Thursday.

The patient is a resident of the Middle East, where they were believed to have contracted the infection before traveling to Britain, PHE said on its website.

MERS is thought to be carried by camels and comes from the same family as the coronavirus that caused China’s deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003.

Most of the known human-to-human transmission has occurred in healthcare settings, and the World Health Organisation has said hospitals and medical workers should take stringent precautions as standard to stop the disease spreading.

PHE said it was the fifth case of the disease diagnosed in England, the others having been identified in 2012 and 2013.

PHE deputy medical director Jenny Harries said it would monitor those who had been in close contact with the patient.

“It is important to emphasize that although a case has been identified, the overall risk of disease transmission to the public is very low,” she added.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison

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