[editing/bolding below is mine]
7 SEPTEMBER 2013 - WHO has been informed of four (4) additional
laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome
coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.
The first case is a 41 year-old female healthcare worker from Riyadh
with no known underlying medical conditions and who became ill on 15
August, 2013. Her condition deteriorated and she passed away at the end
of August. No known exposure to animals, or to a confirmed MERS-CoV
case, has been identified and investigations into the source of
infection are on-going.
The second case is a 30 year-old Saudi male healthcare worker from
Riyadh, working in the same hospital as the above confirmed case. He
developed severe pneumonia on 1 September, 2013, and is currently in
The third case is a 79 year-old woman from Hafar al-Batin province
who developed a respiratory illness on 21 August, 2013. She is a contact
of a confirmed MERS-CoV case in a family cluster. Her condition
deteriorated and she passed away on 2 September, 2013.
The fourth case is a 47 year-old Saudi man from Hafar al-Batin
province with a chronic heart condition and who became ill on 23 August,
2013. He is a contact of a confirmed MERS-CoV case in a family cluster.
He is currently in critical condition.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a
total of 114 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV,
including 54 deaths.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO
encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe
acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual
Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent
travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be
tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance
Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained
for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV
infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms,
such as diarrhoea, in patients who are immunocompromised.
Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic
implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care
facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with
MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk
of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and
All Member States are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of
any new case of infection with MERS-CoV, along with information about
potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a
description of the clinical course. Investigation into the source of
exposure should promptly be initiated to identify the mode of exposure,
so that further transmission of the virus can be prevented.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard
to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any
travel or trade restrictions.
WHO has convened an Emergency Committee under the International
Health Regulations (IHR) to advise the Director-General on the status of
the current situation. The Emergency Committee, which comprises
international experts from all WHO Regions, unanimously advised that,
with the information now available, and using a risk-assessment
approach, the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International
Concern (PHEIC) have not at present been met.