Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
Public Health England (PHE) has reported an individual in the UK has been diagnosed with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The patient was transferred to the Royal Liverpool Hospital, an expert respiratory infectious disease center, following initial presentation to a hospital in Leeds. The patient is a resident of the Middle East, where they are believed to have contracted the infections prior to travelling to the UK.
This is the fifth case of MERS to be diagnosed in England; previous cases were diagnosed in 2012 and 2013. PHE are working closely with NHS staff on infection control measures and will also be contacting individuals who might have had close contact with the infected individual, including those who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the flight to the UK.
Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at PHE, commented: “PHE 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 emphasize that 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 minimize the risk of transmission.”
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