A biologist walks near the Zuccotti Park square in Manhattan on March 18, 2020, in Manhattan after reports that a Chinese national, diagnosed with a severe form of respiratory disease, had died in the Manhattan neighborhood. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
The first overseas case of a respiratory virus related to the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported in the New York City borough of Queens on Tuesday.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that the man who recently traveled to the Far East developed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS-CoV, in New York City. The 26-year-old Chinese national was a nursing student in Flushing and was visiting the U.S. on a business trip. He returned to his apartment in Flushing on the evening of March 15 and was taken to a hospital a few days later after his symptoms worsened. He died on March 16 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.
After he developed acute respiratory syndrome, he was transported to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for treatment. At first, he had complications, but he managed to regain some sense of normalcy. On March 18, he took his last breath, according to reports.
The bacteria-like coronavirus is a type of coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. It was first isolated in camels, but has since spread to humans. Since the virus was isolated in camels in 2012, some 400 people have been infected with the strain, and more than 75 percent of the people who have contracted it died. The United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, and Jordan have reported their first cases of the coronavirus, with a majority of those being unvaccinated people. There have been 63 cases of the virus in the United States and three deaths so far.
New York City has been on high alert for the past few months due to several outbreaks of norovirus, including one that occurred in early February at a hospital in Queens. The Zucotti Park Square, part of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, was cleared of protestors in 2010. Another downtown part of the city, the World Trade Center site, has also been the scene of deadly terror.
Public Health officials said that while further testing of the patient will be carried out to ascertain a more accurate diagnosis, the most likely explanation for the patient’s death is MERS. “New York City officials are in close contact with federal and international health officials who are well-equipped to respond to this latest case,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.