New MERS-CoV Cases Reported in Arabia and UAE
Posted by feww on January 27, 2016
Disease Outbreak News: Jan. 26, 2016
The National IHR Focal Point for Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of 138 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection including about 30 deaths [Sept 2015 – Jan 2016].
- The cases were reported in various cities including Madinah, Bisha, Aloyoun, Onizah, Najran, Alqweiyha, Buridah, Jeddah and Riyadh.
- Many of the victims are females, including several non-national health workers, in the 21 – 30 age range.
The National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates has notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.
- Both cases were reported in Abu Dhabi.
Thailand has confirmed MERS-CoV disease in a traveler, the second such case in the country in the last seven months.
- A man from Oman, who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand for treatment on 22 January, and was admitted to a private hospital, tested positive for MERS-CoV.
Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,632 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 587 related deaths.
Countries with Confirmed MERS-CoV
To date, 26 countries have reported cases of deadly infection, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than 85 percent of all cases:
- Middle East: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
- Africa: Algeria, and Tunisia; in Europe: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
- Asia: China, the Republic of Korea , Malaysia Philippines and Thailand.
- North America: The United States of America
Key Facts [WHO]
- Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
- Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.
- Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS have died.
- Although the majority of human cases of MERS have been attributed to human-to-human infections, camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.
- The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient.
The clinical spectrum of MERS-CoV infection ranges from no symptoms (asymptomatic) or mild respiratory symptoms to severe acute respiratory disease and death. A typical presentation of MERS-CoV disease is fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported. Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive care unit. Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS-CoV have died. The virus appears to cause more severe disease in older people, people with weakened immune systems, and those with chronic diseases such as cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes.
Source of the virus [WHO]
MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. The origins of the virus are not fully understood but, according to the analysis of different virus genomes, it is believed that it originated in bats and was transmitted to camels sometime in the distant past.
- MERS Alert in S.K: 1,200 Schools Closed, 1,600 People Quarantined June 4, 2015
- MERS Deaths Surge to 282 in Saudi Arabia June 4, 2014
- MERS Infection Kills More People May 17, 2014
- Saudi MERS Death Toll Reaches 102 April 28, 2014