12 Cases of MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia are Reported to WHO

Between March 24 and March 31, 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including two deaths. Details of the cases are as follows:

1. A 65-year-old, non-national female from Riyadh city developed symptoms on March 28 and was admitted to a hospital on March 30. The patient has comorbidities. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing. Currently, the patient is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

2. A 60-year-old male from Jeddah city developed symptoms on March 14 and was admitted to a hospital on March 28. The patient has comorbidities. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing. Currently, the patient is in critical condition in ICU.

3. A 63-year-old, non-national, male health worker from Jeddah city. He developed symptoms on March 26 and was admitted to a hospital on March 29. The patient has comorbidities. He provided care to a laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV case. The patient has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, he is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

4. An 80-year-old male from Taima city, Tabuk Region developed symptoms on March 9 and was admitted to a hospital on March 12. The patient had comorbidities. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing. The patient died on March 27.

5. A 39-year-old male from Alkhafji city developed symptoms on March 23 and was admitted to a hospital on March 26. The patient has no comorbidities. He has history of frequent contact with camels and consumption of raw camel milk. The patient has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, the patient is in ICU.

6. A 54-year-old male from a small village near Hofuf city developed symptoms on 20 March and was admitted to hospital on 27 March. The patient had comorbidities. He had history of frequent contact with camels and consumption of raw camel milk. The patient had no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. He passed away on 28 March.

7. A 30-year-old male from Riyadh city developed symptoms on March 2 and was admitted to a hospital on March 9. The patient has comorbidities. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing. Currently, the patient is on home isolation after being discharged from hospital on March 25.

8. A 65-year-old male from Dholem city developed symptoms on March 21 and was admitted to a hospital on March 24. The patient has comorbidities. He has history of contact with camels and sheep, and consumption of raw camel milk. The patient has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, he is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

9. A 48-year-old, non-national male from Riyadh city developed symptoms on March 21 and was admitted to a hospital on March 23. He is a contact of a laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV case that was reported previously. The patient has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, the patient is in stable condition in ICU.

10. A 20-year-old, non-national male from Jeddah city developed symptoms on March 22 and was admitted to a hospital on March 23. The patient is a contact of a laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV case that was reported previously. He has no history of exposure to other known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, the patient is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

11. A 42-year-old, non-national male from Makkah city developed symptoms on March 18 and was admitted to a hospital on March 23. The patient has history of contact with camels and consumption of raw camel milk in Makkah. He also has a history of traveling to Riyadh in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Currently, the patient is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

12. A 55-year-old female from Arar city developed symptoms on March 6 and was admitted to a hospital on March 20. The patient has comorbidities. Investigation of history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms is ongoing. Currently, the patient is in stable condition in a negative pressure isolation room on a ward.

The National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also notified WHO of the death of two previously reported MERS-CoV cases.

Contact tracing of household contacts and healthcare contacts is ongoing for these cases.

Globally, WHO has been notified of 1102 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 416 related deaths.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all of its member states to continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of MERS-CoV in healthcare facilities. It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS-CoV early because like other respiratory infections, the early symptoms of MERS-CoV are non-specific. Therefore, healthcare workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis. Droplet precautions should be added to the standard precautions when providing care to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection; contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection; airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

Until more is understood about MERS-CoV, people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, and immunocompromised persons are considered to be at high risk of severe disease from MERSCoV infection. Therefore, these people should avoid close contact with animals, particularly camels, when visiting farms, markets, or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating. General hygiene measures, such as regular handwashing before and after touching animals and avoiding contact with sick animals, should be adhered to.

Food hygiene practices should be observed. People should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

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.

Source: WHO

TAGS: WHO Pathogens
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