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Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2013

MERS coronavirus: New cases reported from Saudi Arabia and the UAE brings total to 176

Six new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from Saudi Arabia (5) and the United Arab Emirates (1) have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a Disease Outbreak News Update today.

 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Image/CDC

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Image/CDC

According to the release, one of the cases is a 57 year-old male from Riyadh who was hospitalized on 17 December,  2013 and is currently in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was laboratory confirmed on 19 December,  2013. He has underlying chronic diseases. There are no known exposures to animals or a laboratory-confirmed case, and the case has no history of traveling outside Riyadh region.

Second case is a 73 year-old male national, from Riyadh who developed respiratory symptoms and was transferred to an intensive care unit on 25 November 2013, and died on 17 December 2013. On 19 December 2013, he was laboratory confirmed for MERS-CoV. There are no known exposures to animals or a laboratory-confirmed case. In addition, he has no history of travel outside of Riyadh

Three additional cases (two males and one female) are health care workers who have not reported any symptoms.

In addition, the WHO reports one new confirmed case of MERS CoV from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  In addition, UAE announced the death of the 68 year old male reported on 22 December 2013.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 176 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 74 deaths.

In related news, in a follow-up to the news of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) being confirmed in 3 camels in a herd in Qatar in a barn, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported Sunday that the camels now test negative for the virus.

The information from Mr Kassem Nasser Al-Qahtani, Director of Dept of Animal resources, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, Department of Animal resources, DOHA, Qatar, notes that, “The samples from the same herd tested using the same technique were negative and this may show that MERS-CoV infection in camels is a self-limiting disease. The planned massive survey for MERS-CoV in animals is under implementation and the same herd is under systematic retesting. Follow-up reports will be submitted when there will be new data.”

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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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 is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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