One MERS Fatality Reported in Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian health ministry official said a woman infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona-Virus (MERS) has died in the country’s southeastern province of Kerman.
Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, director-general of communicable diseases at the ministry’s Center for Diseases Control, said the woman, who was the first in Iran to have contracted the virus, died Thursday morning.
He said the 53-year-old had high blood pressure and was suffering from chronic respiratory conditions, adding that her immune system failed to fight the virus given her chronic illness.
Gouya further denied reports that 9 more individuals had been infected with the virus.
He said having symptoms of possible corona virus infection does not necessarily mean the individual has contracted the virus.
On Wednesday, a local official in Kerman said four women had been taken to one of the city’s hospitals with symptoms of possible corona virus infection.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona-Virus, a deadly virus first reported two years ago in Saudi Arabia, causes coughing, fever and sometimes fatal pneumonia, killing an estimated 30 percent of those who are infected.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for MERS, which has killed more than 175 people in Saudi Arabia and spread throughout the region, also reaching as far as Malaysia, Greece, Lebanon and the US.
MERS is a virus from the same family as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed about 800 people worldwide after it first appeared in China in 2002.