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Published On: Mon, Jan 27th, 2014

MERS coronavirus cases reported from Saudi Arabia and Jordan, global total now 180

Two additional laboratory-confirmed  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), one each from Saudi Arabia and Jordan, according to a WHO update today.

The details of the cases are as follows:

Image/Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin

Image/Maureen Metcalfe; Azaibi Tamin

WHO was notified of one case by the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia. The case is a 54 year old man from Riyadh who developed respiratory illness symptoms on 29 December, 2013 and was hospitalized on 4 January, 2014. The patient received medical treatment in an intensive care unit. He died on 14 January 2014. Samples tested positive for MERS-CoV after his death. The patient was a health care worker. He had a history of chronic disease and had no history of contacts with animals or contact with known cases of MERS-CoV. In addition, he had no travel history. The investigation is ongoing.

WHO was notified of one case by the Ministry of Health of Jordan on 23 January, 2014. The case is a 48 year old man who became ill on 31 December, 2013 and developed fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain and vomiting, and was admitted to a hospital on 9 January, 2014. While there, his condition worsened and on 16 January he was placed on mechanical ventilation. The patient died on 23 January. A sample taken from the patient on 21 January tested positive by PCR for MERS-CoV.

The patient had underlying health conditions and he had travelled to the United Kingdom from 12 November to 25 December 2013 seeking treatment for his underlying conditions. The patient had no history of animal contact and is believed to have not attended any large social events in the last 30 days. It is reported that he had received 2 guests from Kuwait between 25 December and 31 December, 2013.

National authorities in Jordan are following family contacts, medical staff and health workers, in addition to strictly applying infection control measures. Further investigations are ongoing in Jordan and UK.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 180 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 77 deaths.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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