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Case of novel Corona virus in Germany 23 November 2012

Press release (translation)

Through the IHR mechanism the Robert Koch Institut was informed on November 22, 2012, that a new case of novel Coronavirus disease was confirmed in a patient from Qatar. After disease onset in October the patient was treated at first in a hospital in Qatar, but because of his severe condition he was then transferred to a specialist lung hospital in Germany. After having received intensive care he improved markedly so that he could be discharged from hospital this week.

Samples of the patient taken in Qatar were sent to the UK where HPA confirmed the novel Corona virus.

In the hospital in Northrhine-Westfalia where the patient was treated for four weeks no illnesses among health care personnel were reported. An in-depth survey among contact persons is being conducted by the hospital and the local health authority. In the context of the IHR and in close co-operation with treating physicians, the state health department and the local health authority the Robert Koch-Institute has taken up the co-ordination of the investigation in Germany.

This case constitutes the fifth known case with the novel Corona virus. To date another case was reported from Qatar and another three from Saudi-Arabia. Most patients developed ARDS in combination with acute renal failure. There is no known epidemiologic link between the cases, in addition they had their onset in rather large intervals. Momentarily these case are interpreted as sporadic cases in the two countries. To date there are no hints for person-to-person transmission. According to the risk assessment of the Robert Koch-Institute risk of illness in Germany is still very low.

After the first cases came to light in September 2012 the Robert Koch Institute has informed public health services and an intensive care network, complemented by information on its website. A laboratory test in the Robert Koch Institute is capable of identifying the virus specifically. Further patient samples are planned to be tested at the Robert Koch Institute to characterise the illness better. Any suspicion of an illlness caused by the novel Coronavirus has to be reported to the local health authority.

Date: 23.11.2012