Greece’s First MERS Virus Patient in Critical Condition



flu virusThe doctors monitoring Greece’s first confirmed patient of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have said that his condition still critical.

The 69-year-old Greek man, a permanent resident of Saudi Arabia, returned to Greece on April 17 and after suffering prolonged high fever, was tested positive for MERS-Cov. He is in a special negative pressure isolation chamber for contagious respiratory diseases, while a spot at an intensive care unit is being made available, in case his condition further deteriorates.

According to reports by Greece’s TV channel MEGA, an experimental drug has been purchased so as to tackle the contagious condition of the 69-year-old male.

Doctors are also planning to take samples from the patient’s wife so as to detect if the virus is also present in her system, while other travelers from the in-question flight from Jeddah are still under quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has issued an alert for the taxi driver who transported the 69-year-old patient from Athens International Airport to the area of Amfiali at Piraeus between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on April 17. The driver is requested to contact KEELPNO immediately so as to be tested for infection.

MERS-Coronavirus is the sixth new member of the family of coronaviruses, and was recognized in 2012 as pathogenic for humans. Coronaviruses are responsible for ailments ranging in severity from the common cold through to SARS.

The Greek case is the 10th case of MERS-CoV infection in Europe, others having been diagnosed in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany. So far, the majority of patients infected with MERS-CoV have developed acute respiratory illness, fever, cough and shortness of breath.