Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oman - No Cases of #MERS #Coronavirus

Junee 26, 2013

In Oman, the Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health, Oman, has identified the south of Oman (Dhofar) as a high-risk area where nCoV infections could occur because of the climate, overpopulation, and the different types of animals in the region.

To date, however, there have been no cases of nCoV infections in Oman. "We have tested more than 90 people and have not found any positive cases," a senior official said.

Between June 10 to 16, officials identified 12 suspected cases of coronavirus in different parts of the country, but there were no positive cases.

"From Muscat, there were five cases, two from Dhofar, Sharqiyah, and Dhahirah, and one from North Batinah, but there are no positive cases," a senior official at the Ministry of Health (MoH) said.

Further, from June 3 to 9, 12 people with suspected cases were admitted to different hospitals across the country. But these did not develop into the coronavirus.

An international team of doctors who investigated a large number of cases in eastern Saudi Arabia found nCoV has some striking similarities to SARS.

Currently, Saudi Arabia has reported 55 cases, of which 33 were fatal. Unlike SARS, though, scientists remain baffled as to the source of nCoV.

'A distant relative'
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine said the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus not only spreads easily between people, but within hospitals. That was also the case with SARS, a distant relative of the new virus.

"However, we could not nail down how it was spread in every case — through droplets from sneezing or coughing, or a more indirect route.

Some of the hospital patients were not close to the infected person, but somehow picked up the virus. In the right circumstances, the spread could be explosive," the report said.

Cases have continued to trickle in, and there appears to be a continuing outbreak in Saudi Arabia, where 33 people have been killed. Also, nCoV virus cases have been reported in the UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Tunisia. Most of the victims have had a direct connection to the Middle East region.

But coronavirus nCoV appears more lethal than SARS. Compared to SARS, with an 8 per cent death rate, the fatality rate for nCoV in the Saudi outbreak was about 65 per cent, though experts could be missing mild cases that might skew these figures,
noted authorities.

The incubation period for nCoV is approximately two to seven days, although in some cases it may take as long as 10 days.

Also in some cases, incubation period of up to 14 days have been reported, especially in immune-compromised patients.

Some of the signs and symptoms are high fever, headache and chills, a general feeling of discomfort and body ache.

"In some cases, patients may develop a dry, non-productive cough that might progress to a condition in which the oxygen levels in the blood become low (hypoxia) and the patient could develop pneumonia," said an official. 

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