A 65-year-old man died of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Germany, marking the first MERS-related death in the country in over two years, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday. A MERS outbreak in South Korea has so far claimed the lives of 19 people.
The German, from North Rhine-Westphalia, contracted the infection during a trip to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in February. He reportedly died on June 6 in a hospital in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, RT News reported. The man's death reportedly came as a surprise to doctors as he had been successfully treated and had almost recovered.
There was no information if the man had infected others but authorities tested nearly 200 people who came in contact with the man, and all the tests were negative, according to reports.
Before this, Germany saw only two MERS cases -- one in March 2013 when a 73-year-old patient from the UAE died in Munich, and another in 2012, when a person from Qatar was diagnosed with the virus and later underwent treatment in Essen.
The virus, which is most commonly found in the Arabian Peninsula, has also been reported in Europe, Asia and North America. The largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia, where it was first identified in humans in 2012, began in May 2015 in South Korea, where 154 people have been infected and nearly 5,600 quarantined.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency session to address the “large and complex” MERS outbreak.