Reports: MERS-CoV found in Saudi patient’s camel
Media reports today said the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been detected in a camel linked to a human case in Saudi Arabia. If confirmed, the finding will mark the first time the virus has clearly been found in an animal and will strengthen the suspicion that camels are a source of human infections.
On 7 Nov 2013 the Saudi MoH reported a new case: a 43-year-old male from Jeddah, who developed symptoms on 27 Oct 2013. He sought medical treatment on 3 Nov 2013.
He is currently in an intensive care unit.
The patient does not have any underlying chronic disease. He has no recent travel history outside of Jeddah. He had significant contact with animals but no contact with a known positive human case. To complete the investigation extensive environmental/animal contact sources were pursued.
Camels owned by the patient which were symptomatic with fever and rhinorrhea were tested for MERS-CoV and tested positive.
This is the 1st time that a camel related to a case tests positive for MERS-CoV by PCR. Further testing is ongoing to sequence the patient and the camel virus and compare genetic similarity level to conclude causality.
The Saudi MoH will continue to follow the situation carefully with the Ministry of Agriculture and keep the public health community informed of any new developments.