Saudi Arabia reports four more cases of MERS coronavirus, three in health workers who cared for infected patients
The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported four additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) on Saturday, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) update.
The cases include a 43 year-old female in the Eastern Region who has recovered. The other three cases are female health care workers aged 29, 39 and 45 from Taif governorate who cared for two previously confirmed MERS-CoV cases and were detected as part of the outbreak investigation and contact tracing. Two of these three cases were asymptomatic and all three tested weakly positive by PCR.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 68 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 38 deaths.
In Saudi Arabia, there has been 53 cases confirmed and 32 fatalities.
On the same day, the health officials at a WHO meeting in Cairo agreed that nations should investigate such cases with “urgency” and report any probable infections within 24 hours of classification.
According to a Bloomberg report, Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director-general, said in a statement, “At the moment we have an important window where cases have still been relatively few and human transmission is relatively limited. We need to exploit this chance to agree and implement the best public health measures possible across the board.”
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