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Saudi MERS Death Toll Reaches 102

Posted by feww on April 28, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
DEADLY MERS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
.

8 more deaths and 16 new cases of MERS reported over 24 hrs in Arabia

The Saudi health ministry reported eight additional deaths and 16 new cases of MERS infections late Sunday.

The acting health minister said the latest fatalities had raised the total to 102 deaths. Meanwhile, the number of recorded infections have climbed to 339, with 143 new cases reported since April 1, a massive rise of 73 percent in just four weeks.

The previous Saudi health minister was fired last Monday amid the rising death toll, and a “lack of transparency.”

What’s MERS?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness  caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

Symptoms

MERS symptoms include fever and pneumonia leading to kidney failure and often death. Most victims who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries.

MERS Virus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died.

MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. –CDC

Countries With Lab-Confirmed MERS Cases – Since April 2012

  • Egypt (see below)
  • France
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Source of MERS

MERS-CoV has been “extraordinarily common” in camels since the 1990s, and it may have evolved after being passed to humans, according to a recent study.  The virus has been found in camels in Qatar and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV.

Doctors Resigning for Fear of Infection

At least four doctors at a Jeddah hospital have resigned so far this month after refusing to treat MERS patients for fear of infection, said reports.

Egypt’s Reports First Case of MERS-CoV

Egypt reported its first case  of MERS last week. A man in his twenties who  had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, and showed symptoms of the infection, tested positive for MERS-CoV, according to a report.

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