AN airplane passenger who contracted the potentially deadly Mers virus set foot at Heathrow Airport, it was revealed today.
The unidentified person was taken to hospital in America after their British Airways (BA) flight from Saudi Arabia which stopped off in the UK.The passenger, who was diagnosed with the deadly Sars-like virus, was on BA Flight 262 on April 24.Any people who were onboard that flight who have since fell ill or had symptoms like shortness of breath have been urged to contact NHS 111.Public Health England (PHE) have contacted the Britons who were sitting nearby the affected passenger to provide them with health information. But they stressed the risk of infection of the Mers virus, which stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, was “extremely low”
The affected passenger had flown from Riyadh to Heathrow before transferring on a flight to Chicago.
PHE said it was working with US authorities to contact any UK passengers on the onward flight, American Airlines Flight 99, from London to Chicago.
It is the first case of the virus in the States after its diagnosis was confirmed by the United States Centre for Disease Control in Indiana.
According to the World Health Organisation, 111 people have tested positive for the virus in the Jeddah area of Saudi Arabia.
It resulted in 31 deaths and marks the biggest single surge in the Mers outbreak since it was first detected in April 2012.
In total there have been 401 confirmed cases of the infection in 12 countries and it has caused 93 deaths.