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Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2013

Saudi Arabia reports another case of MERS coronavirus, brings global total to 50

A 61-year-old Al-Ahsa man is the latest laboratory-confirmed case with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to a World Health Organization (WHO) update May 31.

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia says the man, who became ill on 20 May 2013, also has underlying medical conditions.

In addition, three of the previously reported cases from Al-Ahsa cluster have died, according to the update.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 30 deaths.

WHO has received reports of laboratory-confirmed cases originating in the following countries in the Middle East to date: Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). France, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom also reported laboratory-confirmed cases; they were either transferred there for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill.

In France, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with the laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness. MERS is caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

MERS-CoV used to be called “novel coronavirus,” or “nCoV”. It is different from other coronaviruses that have been found in people before.

Most people who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.

MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact. Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed.

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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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  1. Italy reports first MERS coronavirus case, Morocco ‘rules out’ reported case - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Globally, from September 2012 to May 31, WHO has been informed of a total of 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, includ… […]

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