Iran confirms two MERS cases
On Monday, Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, the director-general of communicable diseases at the Iranian Health Ministry’s Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, said two sisters from Kerman, in southeast of Iran, had been diagnosed with the severe respiratory disease.
“Four suspected cases of the new corona virus infection were observed in a family in Kerman Province,” said Gouya, adding, “So far, two of the cases were confirmed to be [found] in two sisters in Kerman, while one of them is in critical condition and is currently receiving treatment under special circumstances.”
Gouya further said Tehran had dispatched trained medical teams to Saudi Arabia, where they closely observe the suspected MERS cases among Iranian Hajj pilgrims, adding that necessary arrangements have also been made for the Iranian pilgrims to undergo medical check-ups after they return home.
MERS is a cousin of SARS. The virus, which causes coughing, fever and pneumonia, does not appear to be as contagious as SARS, which killed some 800 people in a 2003 epidemic.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, which is worst hit by the virus, MERS has been reported in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, Britain and the United States.