Johor man dies of Mers virus; first reported case of death in Asia

Saudi medical staff leave the emergency department at a hospital in the centre of the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 8, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Saudi medical staff leave the emergency department at a hospital in the centre of the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 8, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malaysian man who developed respiratory complications after returning from Mecca has died, becoming the first case of death caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus in Asia.

The 54-year-old man, from Batu Pahat, Johor, had arrived in Malaysia on March 29 after performing the umrah.

He died on April 13 after being admitted to the Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail for three days, following complaints of fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

Passengers onboard the Turkish Airlines flights TK93 and TK60 on the Jeddah-Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route on March 29 are urged to contact the Health Ministry for a health screening, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

Mers was first detected in the Middle East in 2012, but researchers have yet to determine its cause.

The World Health Organisation has recorded 238 cases of the disease and 92 deaths globally to date.