Published On: Thu, Oct 24th, 2013

Global MERS coronavirus outbreak up to 144 as Saudi Arabia reports five new cases

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of five additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection from Riyadh and Medinah, according to a WHO update today.

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

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The update states that of the five laboratory-confirmed cases, two died. The ages of the five patients range from 35 to 83 years old; four men and one woman. Four patients had underlying medical conditions. Two patients reported having no contact with a laboratory-confirmed case or with animals prior to becoming ill.

This makes the total case count from Saudi Arabia at 121 and 51 fatalities.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 144 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 62 deaths.

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.

MERS Cases and Deaths,
April 2012 – Present

Current as of October 24, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

Countries Cases (Deaths)
France 2 (1)
Italy 1 (0)
Jordan 2 (2)
Qatar 6 (3)
Saudi Arabia 121 (51)
Tunisia 3 (1)
United Kingdom (UK) 3 (2)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) 6 (2)
Total 144 (62)

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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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