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Bangladesh reports first case of MERS infection

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh on Sunday reported its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection in a man returning from the United States through Abu Dhabi.

The man, 53, was being treated in hospital, said Mahmudur Rahman, of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research.

"Most probably, he contacted the virus while he was in Abu Dhabi in transit on his way back from the United States," Rahman told Reuters.

First reported in humans in 2012, MERS causes severe and often fatal respiratory illness, with symptoms similar to those seen during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

Its death rate of about 40 percent and reports of clusters of human-to-human transmission have raised concern it may blow up into a pandemic.

It has infected more than 800 people around the world, killing at least 310 of them. The vast majority of cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but there have also been sporadic cases and clusters across the Middle East and in Europe, Asia and the United States.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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