A man has been rushed to hospital, in Liverpool, with the deadly MERS virus, health officials have confirmed.
Public Health England (PHE) said the man was first escorted to a hospital in Leeds, before being transferred to an expert respiratory infectious disease centre at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
The patient is believed to have contracted the killer infection in the Middle East prior to travelling to the UK.
PHE are now trying to contact passengers who were aboard the man’s flight from the Middle East, amid worries they too may be infected.
Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at Public Health England, said, as per the Liverpool Echo:
A patient in hospital in Liverpool is being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) infection. The patient is thought to have contracted the infection whilst in the Middle East before travelling to the UK.
Public Health England is following up those who have had close and sustained contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary. It is important to emphasise, although a case has been identified, the overall risk of disease transmission to the public is very low.
As we’ve seen in previous cases, we have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission.
If people show symptoms of MERS after travelling to the Middle East, our advice remains unchanged and they should contact health services through the usual routes – by calling their GP or NHS 111.
A spokesman for the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said:
We are treating a patient who has Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by specialist and highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases.
There is no risk to other patients or visitors. We ask that people continue to use our services as normal and that people only come to our emergency department if their condition is serious and/or an emergency.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, (MERS), kills a third of those it infects and is named as one of 10 urgent threats to humanity by the World Health Organization.
We wish the man all the best with his recovery.
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