Tuesday, August 13, 2013

WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) summary and literature update – as of 13 August 2013

[This update will be posted on the right side-bar for future reference.  Editing is mine.]

Since April 2012, 94 laboratory-confirmed and 16 probable cases of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported to WHO. Affected countries in the Middle East include Jordan, Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar; in Europe countries affected include: France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy; and in North Africa: Tunisia. Infections presumably acquired through exposure to non-human sources have all occurred in the Middle East; limited transmission in the countries of Europe and North Africa has occurred in close contacts of recent travelers from the Middle East. No new countries have reported MERS-CoV cases since the last update; the last exported case to a country outside the Middle East was in June 2013.
Since the last update, 15 new laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV were reported by KSA and UAE, bringing the total to 94 cases. Forty-seven (50%) of these have died. Fifty-five of 90 confirmed cases (61%) for which the sex is known were male, and the median age of the confirmed cases with known age (n=89) is 50 years (range, 14 months to 94 years). 

Two small clusters have been reported since the last update. One cluster occurred in a health care setting in UAE. The index case was an 83-year-old UAE resident without history of travel or contact with other confirmed cases. He had an underlying malignant disease and was hospitalized in Abu Dhabi with respiratory symptoms on 6 July 2013. He was noted to own a farm with a variety of animals, which he visited often. He tested positive for MERS-CoV in lower and upper respiratory tract samples on 10 July. His condition deteriorated and he developed the acute respiratory distress syndrome and died. Although infection prevention and control measures were reported to be in place and the patient was isolated, four secondary cases were reported in health care workers with exposure to the patient. Two of them developed a mild disease and the other two remained asymptomatic.

Two cases were reported in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia; both of these had previous contact with a confirmed case. The index case in this cluster was thought to be a 66-year-old male from Asir with an underlying medical condition who died of MERS-CoV infection. One secondary case is a male family member, 26 years of age, and the other secondary case is a 42-year-old health care worker. Both experienced mild disease, with no hospitalization required.
For further details regarding the cases please refer to: Disease Outbreak News


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