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MERS Deaths Surge to 282 in Saudi Arabia

Posted by feww on June 4, 2014

EMERGING & RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
DEADLY MERS VIRUS
SCENARIO 011
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Saudi Arabia revises up MERS mortalities

Saudi Arabian health officials finally admitted that many more people have died from the MERS infection than previously reported. 

The Saudi health ministry on Tuesday said that a review of data on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) had shown that there were in fact 688 cases in the country with 282 mortalities reported.

Before the review, the ministry’s latest figures were 575 infections, with 190 deaths.

The new figures increase the official mortality rate from MERS to 41 percent, up from 33 percent previously.

The announcement came a day after the country’s deputy health minister was fired. The sacking followed that of the health minister in April.

MERS-CoV Cases Worldwide

FIRE-EARTH Models project the total cases of MERS-CoV infections worldwide at 804 with 363 mortalities, as of June 3, 2014. See also previous projection.

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 – Reported Cases Since April 2012

  • Egypt
  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Unites States of America (USA)
  • Yemen

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 resigned in April after refusing to treat MERS patients for fear of infection, said reports.

MERS a Year Ago

A total of 38 infected cases had been reported in Saudi Arabia, 49 worldwide, as of May 30, 2013.

Related Links

Links to Other Infectious Diseases

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