Three Cases of MERS-CoV are Reported to WHO


On April 15, 2014, the IHR National Focal Point of Yemen notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a laboratory confirmed case of MERS-CoV in a 44-year-old male residing in Shibam. The patient was diagnosed as having hepatitis B and is reported to have developed symptoms on March 17, 2014, including fever, productive cough, chills, headache, muscle aches, and shortness of breath. He was admitted to hospital on 22 March 2014 in Hadramoot Governorate, and subsequently transferred on March 29, 2014 to an intensive-care unit of a private hospital in Sanaa. He was intubated, developed renal failure, and died on March 31, 2014.

Prior to the patient's decline and subsequent death, on March 31, 2014 oropharyngeal specimens were collected from the patient and tested positive on April 2, 2014. On April 24, 2014, the specimens were sent to the United States’ Naval Medical Research Unit-3 (NAMRU-3) for external confirmation and tested positive on May 5, 2014. Oropharyngeal specimens collected from 12 contacts of the patient tested negative at NAMRU-3.

The patient was an aircraft maintenance engineer with contact among passengers at the airport where he was working. He had no history of travel during the last month of his illness and no known contact with a confirmed case. He is reported to have visited a camel farm on a weekly basis and drank fresh raw camel milk.

On May 3 and May 6, 2014, the IHR National Focal Point of Jordan notified WHO of two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) infections.
A 28-year-old male healthcare worker complained of a headache and sore throat on April 22, 2014. On April 26, 2014, chest X-rays showed normal findings and testing performed on April 27, 2014 were negative for MERS-CoV. On April 30, 2014, he developed a cough and fever and was admitted to hospital in Zarka on the same day. On May 2, 2014, a chest X-ray showed pneumonia and tested positive for MERS-CoV. The patient is currently in a stable condition. He is reported to have had close contact with a previously reported case who was also hospitalized in Zarka.

A 56-year-old Jordanian male resident of Zarka and respiratory therapist at a private clinic was admitted to hospital on April 28, 2014 with pneumonia. On May 3, 2014, he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to the intensive care unit. Throat swab specimens were collected on May 4, 2014 and tested positive for MERS-CoV on May 5, 2014. The patient died on May 5, 2014. He did not have a recent travel history or exposure to a known laboratory-confirmed case of MERS-CoV.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 496 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV.

Source: WHO

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