Monday, May 20, 2013


Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (05): Tunisia ex Saudi Arabia/Qatar, fatal, RFI
Archive Number: 20130520.1725864

Date: Mon 20 May 2013
Source: Radio Tunisia [in Arabic, machine trans., edited]

Ministry of health: the death of a Tunisian citizen returning from the Gulf with coronavirus Mon 20 May 2013

In a communique issued today, [20 May 2013], the Ministry of Health announced the death of a Tunisian citizen returning from the Gulf with coronavirus. This individual was 66 years old and had diabetes, he was treated in the Fatima Bourguiba Hospital in Monastir for acute respiratory insufficiency [SARI - severe acute respiratory illness] upon his return from a trip to holy sites [?in Saudi Arabia] and Qatar where one of his sons lives. Medical evaluation of his family revealed 2 of his sons had symptoms [consistent with an influenza-like illness]. Testing confirmed infection and they have completely recovered [the translation here is not clear as to whether they were laboratory confirmed infections - Mod.MPP]. The ministry is continuing to monitor all family members of this case, but thus far they are not showing signs of infection with this virus. It should be noted that the ministry is continuing heightened surveillance for coronavirus in all parts of the country. Recommendations to prevent the spread of this disease are to avoid contact with individuals returning from the Middle East with respiratory symptoms, urging such individuals to use protective masks and be diligent about hand washing, [especially after sneezing, coughing, or touching respiratory tract secretions.]

Communicated by:

[The case above represents the 1st reported case of a returning traveler to Tunisia. From the newswire above, prior to onset of illness the affected case had traveled to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both countries that have reported cases of MERS-CoV. Information on the dates and locations of travel within each country (Saudi Arabia and Qatar), date of onset of respiratory symptoms, clarification of possible contact cases or secondary cases in patient's sons, and other relevant information from the epidemiologic and laboratory studies would be greatly appreciated.

For a map of Tunisia, see For a map of the Middle East showing locations of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, see - Mod.MPP]

No comments: