Last summer the Iranian government notified the World Health Organization of a cluster of MERS cases that appears to have started with an unidentified `woman who had an Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and had travelled to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra’ , who likely infected an Iranian woman (with no history of travel or camel contact) sometime in early May, who in turn, is suspected of infecting her younger sister (who also had no travel history or camel contact).
The WHO risk assessment published in February of 2015, stated:
The WHO team concluded that the cluster of MERS-CoV cases in Kerman, Iran, in May and June 2014, showing epidemiological evidence of healthcare-associated transmission, could possibly have been caused by a combination of factors. These included inconsistent application of infection prevention and control measures in a healthcare setting at the beginning of the outbreak, as well as weakness in the surveillance system to actively follow and identify cases.
Today, in the first report out of Iran in nearly a year, we learn that Iran has recently notified the World Health Organization of a new MERS case. Like last summer’s case, this patient appears to have had contact with recently returned Umrah travelers to Saudi Arabia.
Disease outbreak news
8 May 2015
On 1 May 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Islamic Republic of Iran notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.
Details of the case are as follows:
A 61-year- old male from Kahnooj city developed symptoms on 18 March and was admitted to hospital in Kahnooj city on 26 March. The patient was transferred to another hospital in Kerman city on 28 March. He has no comorbidities. On 13 March, the patient had contact with two individuals with influenza-like illness (ILI) who returned from Umrah on 10 March. He has no history of contact with other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms. The patient was discharged from hospital on 27 April.
Contact tracing of household and healthcare contacts is ongoing for this case. Also, investigation of the two ILI cases is ongoing. The two ILI cases have no history of exposure to any of the known risk factors while performing Umrah.
Globally, WHO has been notified of 1112 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 422 related deaths.