The HPA continues to monitor close contacts of the two new CoV patients, as well as members of health teams treating them. The ECDC said so far none have shown symptoms
The ECDC also said the HPA is in contact with an airline to follow up on passengers who may have been exposed to the virus while flying with the first patient.
In another development related to 60-year-old man's infection, Ziad Memish, MD, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister for public health, yesterday suggested that health experts reconsider the current CoV case definition, according to his post on ProMED-Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.
He wrote that although the HPA emphasized the patient's travel to the Middle East, the incubation period and the appearance of symptoms are ambiguous enough to warrant a more cautious statement. "…it remains unknown where and when this patient became infected," he wrote.
Memish also urged caution about interpreting the pH1N1 co-infection until the test results are confirmed by an independent source. He said a thorough search hasn't turned up any similar dual infections in Saudi Arabia.
Surveillance for SARIs in Saudi Arabia is ongoing, tests on 300 sick Hajj pilgrims found no coronavirus cases, and personal communications with French and Egyptian health officials have also revealed no CoV infections, Memish wrote.
He pressed for an expanded search for more cases. "Thus far it is less associated with focused or even regional outbreaks than it is with sporadic disease in widely separated locales. Unless and until SARI investigations are expanded, our understanding of its epidemiology and disease spectrum will remain limited. An urgent discussion of the current case definition is needed.