Men walk to a hospital in Hofuf, some 370 km east of, which has suffered outbreaks of the Mers virus, on June 16, 2013
Men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, some 370 km east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, which has suffered outbreaks of the Mers virus, on June 16, 2013. Health authorities in Qatar announced the second confirmed case in a week of the MERS coronavirus in the Gulf state, with a 29-year-old man infected and in intensive care. © Fayez Nureldine - AFP/File
Men walk to a hospital in Hofuf, some 370 km east of, which has suffered outbreaks of the Mers virus, on June 16, 2013
AFP
Last updated: August 27, 2013

Qatar announces new MERS infection

Health authorities in Qatar announced the second confirmed case in a week of the MERS coronavirus in the Gulf state, with a 29-year-old man infected and in intensive care.

The Qatari patient suffers from asthma and has been in contact with another patient infected with MERS.

He is "in a critical condition and is under intensive care," the Supreme Health Council said in a statement late Monday.

On August 20, the authorities announced the first infection in the Gulf state of a 59-year-old Qatari.

Another Qatari national with the infection died in a London hospital on June 28.

The virus has killed 47 people worldwide since September, 41 of them in Saudi Arabia which neighbours Qatar.

MERS is considered a cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

Like SARS, it is thought to have jumped from animals to humans, and shares the former's flu-like symptoms -- but differs by causing kidney failure.

Researchers have pointed to the Arabian camel, or dromedary, as a possible host of the virus.

Scientists studying the new virus have found older patients, men and people with underlying medical conditions are those particularly at risk.

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