Saturday, June 1, 2013

#Coronavirus - ProMED: Jordan: MERS-CoV surveillance, MOH

Published Date: 2013-06-01 04:24:10
Archive Number: 20130601.1749096


[3] Jordan: MERS-CoV surveillance, MOH
Date: Fri 31 May 2013
From: Najwa Khuri-Bulos <> [edited]

Following discovery that the 2 patients who died with a mysterious respiratory illness in April 2012 in Zarqa Jordan were due to the novel coronavirus, now renamed MERS-CoV, Jordan has been conducting an epidemiological investigation to determine the extent of the infection among the contacts of the cases and other epidemiologically linked cases using serological testing for MERS-CoV. (Note that virus was identified from lower respiratory samples in one of the 2 patients who died and in the blood stream in the other)

Since it is now known that upper respiratory samples may be less sensitive for viral detection than lower respiratory tract samples, contacts and clinical cases are being serologically tested. The results of this survey should be available in the coming weeks and will help determine the extent of the outbreak in that city. In addition testing for MERS-CoV has been done in 3 sentinel centers as part of the ongoing SARI surveillance and thus far more than 500 samples have been tested and found to be negative.

Even though no other cases of MERS-CoV were detected since the original outbreak in the health facility in Zarqa, the recent outbreaks in health facilities in Saudi Arabia, renewed interest in this virus in Jordan. A high level meeting headed by the Jordan minister of health along with the outbreak committee was convened in the past week. The committee includes members of the different health providers in Jordan and is charged with drawing up plans for clinical management, infection control, laboratory investigation, and surveillance for MERS-CoV. This preparedness plan is being activated due to the recognition that while there are many unknown answers about the spread, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of the new virus, the possibility that this may spread is real due to the anticipated increased crowding and visitation to Saudi Arabia in the Umrah [pilgrimage] and Hajj in the coming few months; the threat of an increase in the number of cases is ever present. Several other related studies on the subject are also being done by the teams in the different hospitals including the Jordan University Hospital where a team of infectious disease and pulmonologists are activating the preparedness plan for that facility and are interested in being part of regional efforts to study this subject further.

Najwa Khuri-Bulos MD, CIC, FIDSA
Professor of Infectious Diseases and Pediatrics
Jordan University Hospital
Amman, Jordan

[ProMED-mail would like to thank Dr Najwa Khuri-Bulos for this update on the surveillance activities underway in Jordan. This report is very timely given the identification of a newly confirmed case in Italy with a history of exposure in Jordan prior to onset of illness.

For a map of Jordan, see - Mod.MPP]

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