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MERS-CoV Spreads From Dubai UAE to Douai France
Recombinomics Commentary 14:15
May 8, 2013

Martin Enserink ‏@martinenserink
TT @ceciledanre The first #coronavirus patient in France is a man, 65, severely ill, who visited Dubai between 9 and 17 april. #nCoV #MERS

Martin Enserink‏@martinenserink
@hniman Apparently he's in a hospital in Douai, which is in the Nord department. #MERS

The above tweets provide additional detail on the first MERS-CoV (SARS-like beta2c coronavirus) French case (65M) who returned to Douai, France (see map) after travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is near the recent MERS-CoV in eastern Saudi Arabia (see map). 

The travel time overlaps the disease onset dates for many of the confirmed cases in Al Hofuf and raises concerns that MERS-CoV is widespread in eastern Saudi Arabia as well as adjacent countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Bahrain.  Two residents of Doha, Qatar as well as Abu Dhabi, UAE have been confirmed previously, but the current outbreak in multiple hospitals in Al Hofuf have raised concerns that the number of severe and mild cases is markedly higher than the recently reported 13 cases which included 7 deaths. 

Media reports have cited the deaths of several children, as well as a familial cluster of three, which was not in the confirmed cases.  Although recent reports have cited contaminated dialysis equipment, the fatal cases in children who were previously healthy, as well as the symptoms in sons of a dialysis patient (including one son who was MERS-CoV confirmed), raises concerns that the equipment was contaminated due to the large number of cases being treated in Al Hofuf.

The export of MERS-CoV in France increases concerns that the number of cases in multiple countries in the Middle East is markedly higher than the reported cases.

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