Austrian health authorities confirmed the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and said Tuesday that the female patient from Saudi Arabia was in critical condition.

MERS“The patient is responding to therapy and is on the path to stable condition,” a hospital spokeswoman said.

The woman had arrived in Austria a few days earlier and was admitted to an isolation ward in a Vienna hospital, the Health Ministry said Monday.

A dozen cases of MERS have been recorded in the European Union so far, the ministry said.

The strain of the coronavirus that causes MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In July, WHO confirmed 291 deaths globally and 837 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection.

MERS has similarities to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that broke out in Asia in 2003. It is deadlier but has a lower rate of transmission, with symptoms including fever, pneumonia and kidney failure.



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