MERS coronavirus tally: ECDC
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) by the numbers, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC):
As of 21 February 2014, 186 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 81 deaths. The following countries have reported MERS-CoV cases:
Saudi Arabia: 147 cases / 61 deaths
United Arab Emirates: 13 cases / 5 deaths
Qatar: 7 cases / 4 deaths
Jordan: 3 cases / 3 deaths
Oman: 2 case / 2 deaths
Kuwait: 2 cases / 0 death
UK: 4 cases / 3 deaths
Germany: 2 cases / 1 death
France: 2 cases / 1 death
Italy: 1 case / 0 death
Tunisia: 3 cases / 1 death
Twelve cases have been reported from outside the Middle East: in the UK (4), France (2), Tunisia (3), Germany (2) and Italy (1). In France, Tunisia and the UK, there has been local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East, but had been in close contact with laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.
Coronaviruses are a cause of the common cold. A coronavirus also was the cause of the severe respiratory illness called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). SARS caused a global epidemic in 2003, but there have not been any known cases of SARS since 2004. MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused SARS.
MERS-CoV is different from any other coronavirus that has been previously found in people. Symptoms of MERS have included fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The World Health Organization says MERS-CoV infections that may be acquired in health-care facilities illustrate the need to continue to strengthen infection prevention and control measures. Health-care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health-care workers and visitors.
In addition, they recommend that people at high risk of severe disease due to MERS-CoV should avoid close contact with animals when visiting farms or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating.
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.