GENEVA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The Italian Ministry of Health has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a laboratory-confirmed case with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in a resident in the country, the WHO said Saturday.
The patient is a 45-year-old man with recent travel from Jordan. He returned to Italy on May 25 with symptoms of cough and fatigue and was hospitalized on May 28 as his condition deteriorated. He is currently in stable condition, according to the WHO.
From September 2012 to date, the WHO has been informed of 51 confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV globally, including 30 deaths.
To date, the WHO has received reports of confirmed cases originating in the following countries in the Middle East, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain also reported confirmed cases, which were either transferred there for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill.
In France, Tunisia and Britain, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with the confirmed or probable cases, according to the WHO.
The WHO encouraged all member states to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.
It said that recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV.
It also reminded health care facilities of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC).
"Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors," it said.