11/07/2013 11:14 am ET Updated Nov 07, 2013

First Reported Case Of MERS In Spain

The first case of Middle East respiratory syndrome, also known as MERS, has been identified in Spain, according to news reports.

The Associated Press reported that the case is a woman, who was born in Morocco but lives in Spain, and that she likely contracted the virus while traveling in Saudi Arabia in October.

The woman is in stable condition; she checked into a hospital in Madrid on Nov. 1, Reuters reported. This news means that Spain joins four other European countries that have seen MERS cases: Britain, Germany, France and Italy.

The majority of cases have appeared in Saudi Arabia, where the virus was first detected. Oman has also recently seen a case of MERS, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Since Monday, 150 lab-confirmed cases of MERS have been identified around the world, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MERS is a type of coronavirus, and is considered a relative of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that hit Asia in 2002 and 2003. While the exact origins of MERS are still not known, scientists have found evidence of the virus in dromedary camels and bats.

Symptoms of MERS include fever, shortness of breath and cough; about half of people who have been infected with the virus have died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Transmission is possible through close contact with an infected person.