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Manchester hospital patient tested for MERS

A patient at Manchester Royal Infirmary is being tested for the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Virus Syndrome (Mers).

It is understood the patient was admitted to the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department with a respiratory infection and is being kept in isolation while precautionary checks take place.

Dr Will Welfare, from Public Health England North West's Greater Manchester Health Protection team, said: "We can confirm that there is an individual at the Manchester Royal Infirmary being tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers-CoV).

"No new cases of MERS-CoV have been detected in the UK since February 2013.

"The NHS has robust plans and processes in place should any cases of Mers be identified in England, but the risk of contracting the infection in the UK remain very low."

In July, two patients at the same hospital tested negative for Mers.

Mers is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (Mers-CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Latest figures from the World Health Organisation show 1,618 cases of infection have been confirmed throughout the world, including at least 579 deaths.

Although the source of Mers-CoV is currently unknown, there is growing evidence of the possible role of camels in transmitting the virus to humans.

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