The deadly MERS-CoV virus has arrived in Italy, according to a statement this weekend from the World Health Organization (WHO).
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the new SARS-like coronavirus may have the potential to pose a worldwide threat. At the time of that report, WHO said that all known cases had either been discovered in the Middle East or else involved patients who either traveled to the Middle East themselves or had a close contact who did.
WHO’s update on MERS-CoV on Friday said that there had been 50 confirmed cases with 30 deaths — an extremely high percentage for a contagious respiratory disease.
On Sunday, WHO confirmed that the first three cases of the MERS-CoV deadly virus had now appeared in Italy. A 45-year-old man who traveled to Jordan returned home and apparently infected two female contacts, a 42-year-old woman and a 2-year-old girl.
So far, all three patients are in stable condition. The man, who spent 40 days traveling in Jordan, is reportedly in good condition now.
At the moment, WHO doesn’t fully understand how MERS-CoV is spread. It is contagious, but it may not be that easy to get it from a casual contact. Their statement noted that:
“Thus far, all clusters of cases have occurred in a health care setting or among close family contacts. Human-to-human transmission has been documented on several occasions in which secondary cases had not traveled to affected areas and is strongly suspected in others. Transmission does not appear to have extended beyond these clusters into the larger community in any of the events.”
Let’s hope that the three MERS-CoV deadly virus cases in Italy will be the last.
[virus photo by Psim via Shutterstock]