On 5 December 2019, the National IHR Focal Point for Qatar reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) infection to WHO.

The first case-patient (case #1) is a 67-year-old female from Doha, Qatar. She developed fever, cough, shortness of breath and headache on 23 November 2019, and presented to a hospital on 25 November. On 27 November, she went to the same hospital for follow up. However, on 28 November, her condition worsened and she was admitted to the hospital. A nasopharyngeal swab was collected on 28 November and tested positive for MERS-CoV by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 29 November. The patient had underlying medical conditions, and passed away on 12 December 2019. The source of her infection is under investigation. The patient had neither a history of contact with dromedary camels nor recent travel. Follow up and screening of seven household contacts and 40 healthcare worker contacts is ongoing and two asymptomatic secondary cases have been identified so far.

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