Kuwait reports first case of Mers

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait reported its first case of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) on Wednesday, the fifth Gulf Arab country the strain has emerged in since the outbreak began in neighbouring Saudi Arabia last year.

The Kuwaiti patient is in a critical condition, state news agency Kuna said, citing a statement from the Health Ministry.

It gave no further details.

Mers, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has been reported in people in the Gulf, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain. Oman reported its first case last month and the sufferer died on Sunday.

The World Health Organization said in August the number of confirmed infections worldwide in the past year was 102. Almost half of those infected have died.

Scientists say they believe dromedary camels in the Middle East may be the animal "reservoir" that is fuelling the outbreak.