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Tue 30 Sep 2014 01:26 PM

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Austria reports first MERS case in Saudi national

Woman from Saudi Arabia is being treated in an isolation ward in a hospital in Vienna

Austria reports first MERS case in Saudi national

Austria has reported its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in a woman from Saudi Arabia who had recently travelled to the Alpine country, ORF Oe 1 radio reported on Tuesday, citing the health ministry.

MERS, thought to originate in camels, causes coughing, fever and pneumonia, and kills about a third of its victims.

Understanding how MERS is transmitted has been a quest for doctors trying to quell the outbreak that emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and has infected more than 850 people and killed 333 worldwide.

The Saudi Arabian national was being treated in an isolation ward in a hospital in Vienna and all people she had been in contact with would be informed and checked for symptoms, a health ministry official said on Oe 1.

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