MERS virus update: Four new cases in Saudi Arabia, details on the 113 retrospective cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) released two new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) updates today; one concerning new cases reported in the Saudi Kingdom and one that details the 113 retrospective cases reported by the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia health officials notified WHO of 4 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection during the past week. The details of the cases are as follows:
First, a 38-year-old woman from Riyadh city, Riyadh Region. The patient was admitted to a hospital for another illness on 20 April. She developed respiratory symptoms on 11 June, and was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on 18 June. She is currently in a stable condition. Investigation on the source of infection is ongoing.
Second, a 45-year-old man from Riyadh city, Riyadh Region. The patient became ill on 6 June and was admitted to a hospital on 19 June and was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on 20 June. The patient is reported to have no history of contact with a previously laboratory-confirmed MERS CoV case. He does not have a history of travel or a history of contact with animals. The patient is currently in a stable condition.
Third, a 57-year-old man from a village located 50 km away from Umluj city, Tabuk Region. He was admitted to a hospital on 16 June and was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on 22 June. The patient was air-ambulanced to Jeddah on 24 June and is currently in a critical condition. He has a history of exposure to camels on a daily basis. He is reported to have an underlying medical condition.
And finally, a 85-year-old man from Jeddah city, Makkah Region. He became ill on 15 June, was admitted to a hospital on 21 June and was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on 22 June. The patient has an underlying medical condition. He is currently in a stable condition. The patient is reported to have no history of contact with animals.
In addition, the WHO is reporting two additional deaths were reported among previously laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV.
A little over three weeks ago, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 113 laboratory confirmed MERS-CoV cases, including 34 fatalities after a retrospective review of hospital records for the one year period from 5 May 2013 to 6 May 2014.
The majority of the cases (84) occurred after 1 March 2014; and the rest of cases (29) occurred between 5 May 2013 and 28 February 2014, of the 113 cases, 69 are Saudi nationals, while 44 are non-Saudi nationals and 76 recovered, 3 were still hospitalized and 34 died.
Additionally, information on possible source of infection was reported for 72 out of the 113 cases. Of these 18 cases acquired infection from a non-human source at the community level and 54 cases acquired infection from another person. Of the infections acquired from another person: health care acquired infection was reported for 41 cases and household infection was reported for 13 cases.
Thirty-seven percent (42 out of 113 cases) are health care workers. Among these, 19 were reported as asymptomatic and 23 were reported to have symptoms. Information on the severity of these symptoms was not reported. The final outcome for the health care workers was provided as follow: 39 recovered, 1 still hospitalized and 2 died.
Globally, 820 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 286 related deaths have officially been reported to WHO. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page