A 27-year old engineer had the virus after arriving at Cairo International Airport from Saudi Arabia, where he is working, the Health Ministry said in a statement. According to the statement, the engineer came in contact with an infected person in Saudi Arabia ahead of his arrival in Egypt. The ministry said that the man was taken to a northern Cairo fever hospital for treatment. Tens of thousands of Egyptians travel to Saudi Arabia for work and performing the pilgrimage.

MERS, for which no known cure is available, destroys the lungs and kidneys. It is presumed that long-term physical contact can lead to infection. Symptoms, which include persistent fever and cough, are similar to those associated with the SARS virus. The virus has spread from the Gulf to Europe and has already caused dozens of people to die.

Saudi Arabia's first case of the virus was documented in September 2012. It has since spread throughout the region. 

During a 2003 epidemic of SARS (an earlier form of coronavirus), more than 800 people – mostly from Asia – succumbed to the virus.