First German death from virus

BERLIN - A 65-year-old German man died this month after contracting the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) during a trip to Abu Dhabi, the first death linked to the virus in Europe this year.

The man died in the western town of Ostercappeln on June 6 of an acute lung ailment that came as a complication from the Mers virus, the Health Ministry of Lower Saxony state said yesterday.

The German authorities said they had no indication the virus had spread, and European health officials said the risk of an outbreak in Europe remained low.

It is believed the patient was infected during a visit to a livestock market in the United Arab Emirates. More than 200 people who came into contact with him have tested negative for Mers.

This is the first German death from Mers, and the first Mers infection imported into the European Union this year. Meanwhile, Prague's Bulovka Hospital said yesterday it had isolated a suspected Mers patient who had travelled from South Korea.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'First German death from virus'. Print Edition | Subscribe