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Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2013

Global total of coronavirus cases increase to 40 as two more cases are reported in health workers in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Health Ministry has reported two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (nCoV) in health care workers who were exposed to patients with confirmed nCoV, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) update Wednesday.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. Image/CDC

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. Image/CDC

The new cases are reported in a 45-year-old man who became ill on 2 May 2013 and is currently in a critical condition and  a 43-year-old woman with a coexisting health condition, who became ill on 8 May 2013 and is in a stable condition.

The WHO reports this is the first time health care workers have been diagnosed with nCoV infection after exposure to patients and are advising hospitals and health facilities to ensure appropriate infection control measures are applied.

Since the beginning of May 2013 to date, a total of 21 patients, including nine deaths, have been reported from the outbreak primarily linked to a health care facility in the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia. The government is conducting ongoing investigation into the outbreak.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a global total of 40 laboratory confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 20 deaths from 6 countries (France, Germany, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom).

In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated and reissued their travel notice for the Arabian Peninsula on Wednesday.

Canadian health officials also issued a travel notice for travelers to the Middle East, the UK and France.

Also in Canada, CBC News reports that the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg obtained a live sample of the novel coronavirus from Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands earlier this month and is developing diagnostic tests for the new coronavirus infection.

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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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