Thursday, April 27, 2017

WHO MERS-CoV Update - Saudi Arabia & Qatar


We've been watching a slight increase in the number of MERS cases reported from the Arabian Peninsula over the past couple of months, with 2 recent cases from the UAE, 2 from Qatar, and - in addition to a steady trickle of cases from Saudi Arabia - a cluster of cases in and around Wadi Al Dawasir.

Today the World Health Organization has published their second MERS update of the week, detailing the 2nd case from Qatar, and 13 recent cases from Saudi Arabia. 

Of the Saudi cases, 6 are linked to camel or camel product exposure, 2 had contact with known MERS cases, and the remaining 5 are still under investigation.  The patient from Qatar had recent camel contact as well.

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

Disease outbreak news
27 April 2017

Between 18 March and 20 April 2017 the national IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 13 additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including two fatal cases. On 18 April 2017 the national IHR Focal Point of Qatar reported one additional case of MERS.
Details of the cases

Detailed information concerning the cases reported can be found in a separate document (see link below).

MERS-CoV cases reported between 18 March and 20 April 2017    xlsx, 24kb
Between 18 March and 20 April 2017, 13 cases of MERS were reported in Saudi Arabia. Six of these cases had exposure to infected dromedary camels or consumed their raw milk, which is the most likely source of their infection and two cases were detected through contact tracing of previously reported MERS-CoV cases. Investigation into the history of exposure to the known risk factors in the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms is ongoing for the remaining cases. Contact tracing of household and healthcare contacts is ongoing for all 13 cases.

On 18 April 2017, one case of MERS was reported in Qatar. The 25-year-old case has a history of frequent contact with dromedary camels and no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. He is currently in stable condition admitted to a negative pressure isolation room on a ward. The department of health protection and communicable disease control in the Ministry of Public Health has carried out case investigation and contact tracing. All contacts have tested negative but will continue to be monitored until the end of the monitoring period of 14 days of last exposure to the case.

To date, Qatar has reported 20 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS. The last case was reported on 21 March 2017 (see Disease Outbreak News published on 4 April 2017).

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1952 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 693 related deaths have been reported.
WHO risk assessment

MERS-CoV causes severe human infections resulting in high mortality and has demonstrated the ability to transmit between humans. So far, the observed human-to-human transmission has occurred mainly in health care settings.

The notification of additional cases does not change the overall risk assessment. WHO expects that additional cases of MERS-CoV infection will be reported from the Middle East, and that cases will continue to be exported to other countries by individuals who might acquire the infection after exposure to animals or animal products (for example, following contact with dromedaries) or human source (for example, in a health care setting). WHO continues to monitor the epidemiological situation and conducts risk assessment based on the latest available information.
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