Second MERS case in Netherlands confirmed

By Kyle Johnson,

A second suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was confirmed on Thursday in the Netherlands, health officials said.

The National Public Health Institute spoke with CNN and said that both people infected are family members who recently stayed in the same hotel room for two weeks in Saudi Arabia. Harald Wychgel, the ministry of health spokesperson, declined to reveal any more personal details due to privacy laws.

The health ministry did note that they are unsure if both people became infected separately or if one infected the other. The latter seems likely as one visited a camel farm during the trip and it is estimated that 75 percent of single-hump camels in the country could be carrying the coronavirus.

"It is also known that both patients have underlying conditions that make them probably more susceptible to infection with this virus," said the health ministry in a statement.

There have been over 570 confirmed cases worldwide of MERS, which is similar to SARS and causes flu-like symptoms and can even lead to pneumonia and kidney failure, but most are in the Arabian Peninsula.

Much like the Netherlands, the United States has had two confirmed cases of MERS. Both patients were health care workers who recently returned from Saudi Arabia. The Florida patient remains in the hospital, while the Indiana patient recovered and was released.

 
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