PHE said: “As a precautionary measure, PHE experts are working closely with NHS colleagues to advise them on infection control measures. They will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to monitor their symptoms and provide health advice. This will include contacting a number of passengers who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK.Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Medical Director at Public Health England, said: “A patient in hospital in Liverpool is being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) infection. The patient is thought to have contracted the infection whilst in the Middle East before travelling to the UK. “Public Health England is following up those who have had close and sustained contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessary.“It is important to emphasise that although a case has been identified, the overall risk of disease transmission to the public is very low.“As we’ve seen in previous cases, we have well established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed to minimise the risk of transmission.” Public Health England is following up those who have had close and sustained contact with the patient to offer advice and to monitor them as necessaryDr Jenny Harries PHE said those who show symptoms of MERS after travelling to the Middle East, should contact health services through the usual routes – by calling their GP or NHS 111. MERS-CoV (the virus that causes MERS) can be spread when someone is in close contact with a patient for a sustained period of time, officials said. They said this means there is a very low risk to the general population of becoming ill. Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is funding the development of a vaccine into the disease, said: “Emerging infectious diseases, like MERS-CoV, are spreading faster and emerging more frequently than ever before due to ecological changes, urbanisation, and increased mobility within and between countries.In view of its epidemic potential, CEPI has prioritised development of a vaccine against MERS-CoV, in addition to Lassa and Nipah viruses. So far, we have awarded funding to three companies—Themis, Inovio, and IDT Biologika—to develop vaccine candidates against MERS-CoV. We will also be announcing funding for additional MERS vaccine development soon.” Healthcare professionals are advised to remain vigilant for severe unexplained respiratory illness occurring in anyone who has recently travelled in to the UK from the Middle East, particularly in light of increased travel associated with the Hajj. First identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (Mers-CoV) that was dubbed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome because of the origin of the first cases.Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A man has been diagnosed with the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in England – the first such diagnosis in this country since 2013.Health officials said the case involves a patient who was initially admitted to a hospital in Leeds before being transferred to Royal Liverpool Hospital, which treats respiratory infectious diseases.The man is believed to have fallen ill after flying to Britain from the Middle East, where he lives. Officials are now attempting to contact a number of passengers who sat near the man on his flight to the UK.Public Health England (PHE) said the risk of transmission to the general population from this case is very low. Typically MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Around a third of reported patients with MERS worldwide have died.People without symptoms are not considered infectious but, as a precaution, those who have been in close proximity will be contacted and monitored to ensure that if they do become unwell they can be treated quickly, officials said.The virus has been dubbed “camel flu” because of evidence that humans could contract it from infected camels. However, there are concerns that it can also be spread betwen humans and via airborne transmission. However, more than 80 per cent of these cases have so far occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the World Health Organisation.More recently, there have been outbreaks of MERS in South Korea and China.A spokesman for the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said: “We are treating a patient who has Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The patient is being cared for on our specialist infectious and tropical diseases unit, by specialist and highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases.”There is no risk to other patients or visitors.We ask that people continue to use our services as normal and that people only come to our emergency department if their condition is serious and/or an emergency,” he added. Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.