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Published On: Thu, May 23rd, 2013

Saudi Arabia reports new fatal case of coronavirus not linked to Al-Ahsa cluster

Saudi health officials have reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) a new fatal case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in a 63-year-old man from the Al-Qaseem region of central Saudi Arabia, according to a WHO update May 23.

The elderly patient was admitted to a hospital with acute respiratory distress on 15 May 2013 and died on 20 May 2013, he reportedly had an underlying medical condition.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 44 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 22 deaths.

A breakdown of the outbreak is as follows, courtesy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Countries Cases (Deaths)
France 2 (0)
Jordan 2 (2)
Qatar 2 (0)
Saudi Arabia 32 (17)
Tunisia 2 (0)
United Kingdom (UK) 3 (2)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) 1 (1)
Total 44 (22)

The WHO reports that Saudi authorities are also continuing the investigation into the outbreak that began in a health care facility since the beginning of April 2013 in Al-Ahsa. To date, a total of 22 patients including 10 deaths have been reported from the outbreak.

A Canadian infectious disease expert who is investigating the Saudi Al-Ahsa outbreak calls it a “very complicated investigation”.

Dr. Allison McGeer says the outbreak is complex and pulling together the data to accurately reflect what has been going on in the Al-Ahsa region of the country just takes time. She also revealed that a report on the outbreak is being written, according to a Brandon Sun report.

“The only thing worse than not sharing data is sharing data that turns out to be not correct. And this is a very complicated investigation,” said McGeer, who returned to Canada from the Middle East on Saturday.

To date, WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

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Image/CIA

Image/CIA

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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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