Tuesday, February 02, 2016

WHO MERS-CoV Update - Saudi Arabia

Credit FAO











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In January, after a very quiet couple of months on the MERS front, we saw a spate of MERS cases reported out of Saudi Arabia all involving camel contact (see here and here), several involving Camels That Tested Positive For MERS-CoV In A Jeddah Market.

Today the World Health Organization has posted an update on five of these recent cases, including two asymptomatic cases, and one who is listed as being a relative of closes contacts to a camel. 

While the vast majority of people have been exposed to MERS from other infected humans, infected camels appear responsible for sporadically `seeding' the virus into the human population, where it tends to transmit in health care settings particularly well.


Finding ways to curb this camel-to-human transmission is viewed as the most effective way to keep MERS in check.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Disease outbreak news
2 February 2016 


Between 22 and 27 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 5 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Details of the cases

  • A 47-year-old male from Al-Kharj city developed symptoms on 24 January and, on 26 January, was admitted to hospital. The patient, who has comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 27 January. Currently, he is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward. The patient has a history of frequent contact with camels and consumption of their raw milk. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.
  • A 21-year-old, non-national male from Alkumrah city was identified through contact tracing while asymptomatic. The patient, who has no comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 23 January. Currently, he is still asymptomatic and in home isolation. The patient has a history of contact with MERS-CoV positive camels. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to detection.
  • A 45-year-old, non-national male from Alkumrah city was identified through contact tracing while asymptomatic. The patient, who has no comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 23 January. Currently, he is still asymptomatic and in home isolation. The patient has a history of contact with MERS-CoV positive camels. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to detection.
  • An 85-year-old male from Muthnab city developed symptoms on 11 January and, on 19 January, was admitted to hospital. The patient, who has comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 21 January. Currently, he is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward. The patient has a history of contact with his relatives who have a history of contact with camels. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.
  • A 58-year-old male from Jeddah city developed symptoms on 12 January and, on 19 January, was admitted to hospital. The patient, who has comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 21 January. Currently, he is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward. The patient has a history of frequent contact with camels and consumption of their raw milk. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.
Contact tracing of household and healthcare contacts is ongoing for these cases.

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