Bangladesh reports first case of MERS virus

June 15, 2014

Bangladesh Sunday reported its first case of the deadly MERS virus after a Bangladesh-born US resident was admitted to hospital days after returning to his homeland via Abu Dhabi.

The condition of the unidentified 53-year-old man had improved but he was still in intensive care in a Dhaka clinic, Mahmudur Rahman, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, told AFP.

"He is Bangladesh-born but lives in the US. He came to the country on June 4 and became sick two days later. Most probably he contracted the during the three hours at Abu Dhabi airport or in the plane," he said.

"After a series of tests we got confirmation yesterday that he was suffering from MERS coronavirus."

It was the first known MERS case in Bangladesh. The country has become the 22nd nation to report a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), according to Rahman.

Other countries including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Algeria have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to Saudi Arabia.

MERS has killed 284 people in Saudi Arabia since it first emerged in 2012, and hundreds more have been infected.

It is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds of people, mostly in China.

Like SARS, it appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

Muslim pilgrims from around the world are pouring into the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, undeterred by the spread of the deadly virus.

Research has suggested that the virus has been quite common in camels for at least 20 years.

Last week, researchers said they had found the first direct evidence that MERS jumps directly from camels to humans.

Rahman said it was only a matter of time before MERS arrived in Bangladesh. Some three million Bangladeshis work in the Middle East, more than two-thirds of them in Saudi Arabia.

Explore further: First MERS death in Algeria

Related Stories

First MERS death in Algeria

June 11, 2014

An Algerian man in his fifties has died of the MERS virus, the first such fatality in the country, the health ministry announced Tuesday.

First MERS infections detected in Algeria

May 31, 2014

Algeria reported its first two cases of the deadly MERS virus on Saturday, both among pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, where most cases and deaths from the disease have been reported.

New MERS death reported in Jordan

June 1, 2014

A 69-year-old man has died in Jordan after being infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, a health ministry official said on Sunday.

Saudis announce two new MERS deaths

May 20, 2014

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reported two new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, taking to 175 the overall number of fatalities from the respiratory disease in the world's worst-hit country.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 126

May 9, 2014

Saudi Arabia's death toll from MERS has risen by five to 126 fatalities since the mystery respiratory virus first appeared in the kingdom in 2012, the health ministry said Friday.

Jordan reports new MERS death

May 12, 2014

A man has died in Jordan after being infected with the MERS virus, the government said Monday, on the eve of a World Health Organisation emergency meeting on the disease.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.