The World Health Organization has published an update on the 1 dozen new MERS cases reported by Saudi Arabia between October 18th and the 26th.
Note: Since that cutoff date, we’ve seen 14 additional cases announced out of KSA.
While recent reports have often mentioned camels as a likely source of infection, in today’s report none of the cases reported direct contact with camels or camel products. However 2/3rds had contact with laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases.
How many of these were exposed in family or community settings - and how many exposures occurred in a hospital setting - is not made clear, but nosocomial transmission has been a common theme with the MERS coronavirus.
Disease outbreak news
3 November 2014
Between 18 and 26 October 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia (KSA) notified WHO of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including five deaths.
Details of the cases are as follows:
The cases are from Taif (6), Riyadh (4), Madinah (1) and Skaka (1). The median age of the patients is 54 years old (ranging from 17 to 75 years old). Nine cases (75%) are men and ten (83%) are Saudi nationals. Ten patients (83%) suffer from one or more comorbidities. None of the cases has a history of contact with camels nor of raw camel products consumption; however, two of the patients (17%) live in areas densely populated with camels. In the 14 days that preceded the onset of symptoms, none of the cases performed Umrah/Hajj and only two (17%) travelled out of their cities of residence. Eight patients (67%) came in contact with laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases.
Tracing of household contacts and healthcare contacts is ongoing for these cases.
The National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia also notified WHO of the death of a MERS-CoV case that was initially reported on 6 October.
Globally, WHO has been notified of 897 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 325 related deaths.