Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ProMED: #Coronavirus Saudi Arabia - 4 new cases

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
[1] Saudi Arabia: 4 new cases
[2] Subscriber comment

[1] Saudi Arabia: 4 new cases
Date: Tue 14 May 2013
Source: Al Jazeera [edited]

Saudi Arabia sees more SARS-like virus cases
Saudi Arabia has confirmed 4 new cases of the SARS-like coronavirus in its Eastern Province, state media has reported, citing the health ministry.

The health ministry said that one of the 4 new cases had been treated and the patient had been released from hospital, while the 3 other new cases were still being treated, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday [13 May 2013].

On Sunday [12 May 2013], Saudi Arabia said it had a total of 24 confirmed cases since the disease was identified last year [2012], of whom 15 had died.

World Health Organisation officials visiting Saudi Arabia to consult with the authorities on the outbreak said on Sunday [12 May 2013] it seemed likely the new virus could be passed between humans, but only after prolonged, close contact.

The new virus (nCoV) can cause coughing, fever, and pneumonia. A virus from the same family triggered the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that swept the world after emerging in Asia and killed 775 people in 2003.

French authorities announced on Sunday [12 May 2013] that a 2nd man had been diagnosed with the disease after sharing a hospital room with France's only other sufferer, who had recently travelled in the Middle East.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Kunihiko Iizuka

[2] Subscriber comment
Date: Mon 13 May 2013
From: Hugh Baker <Hugh.Baker@inspection.gc.ca>

Reading the information about the 3 cases in France [note that as of the time of preparation of this report, only 2 cases have been confirmed in France - Mod.MPP], it occurs to me that this virus may also physically behave like SARS.

SARS coronavirus initially requires "large droplet" precautions until the patient requires ventilation. Once on the respirator, the virus becomes virtually airborne because of pressure and humidity issues and anyone not protected by goggles and an N95 mask is vulnerable to exposure to small, virus-laden droplets from the respirator outflow. The epidemiology would suggest a similar phenomenon with the novel coronavirus.

Dr Hugh Baker
Regional Veterinarian Officer, Export
Toronto District Office
1124 Finch Ave W, Room 2
Toronto ON Canada M3J 2E2

[Over the past few days, the media reports out of Saudi Arabia have been filled with rumors of numerous additional cases of the nCoV occurring in the country, including several reports bringing the total number of cases to as high as 45. These reports have been discarded as erroneous by Dr Ziad Memish, the Deputy Minister of Public Health in Saudi Arabia, in a communication to Helen Branswell of the Canadian Press.

The newswire above is based on a press release from the Ministry of Health and mentions 4 additional cases, which will bring the total number of confirmed cases of illness related to infection with the nCoV to 38, with 20 deaths (case fatality rate: 52.5 percent)

As of today, 14 May 2013, the breakdown of total confirmed cases of SARI (severe acute respiratory infections) associated with infection with the nCoV (and deaths) by country of report is:
- Saudi Arabia: 28 (15 deaths)
- Jordan: 2 (2 deaths)
- UK: 4 (one patient from Qatar -- under treatment, 3 patients from UK -- one with history of travel to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan prior to illness; one recovered, 2 deaths)
- Germany: 2 (one patient from Qatar -- discharged, one patient from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- one death).
- France: 2 (one with a history of travel to the UAE prior to illness; 1 health care facility contact of other case)

(Note that the table above shows cases by country of report -- of the total 38 cases confirmed at this time, 33 were presumed to have been be infected in Saudi Arabia, 2 in Jordan, 2 in Qatar, 2 in the UAE, 2 in the UK, and 1 in France).

More information on epidemiologic information on these cases (age, gender, date of onset, possible sources of exposure) from knowledgeable sources would be greatly appreciated.


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