MERS update: 3 more Saudi cases, 1 in Qatar

Three more Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases, apparently including a fatal one, were reported in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, while Qatar reported an asymptomatic case in a foreigner in the country, according to government statements and news reports.

A machine-translated statement from the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH), apparently issued on Oct 26, said the new cases all occurred in the Eastern province. The cases involve:

  • An 83-year-old citizen who had contact with a confirmed case-patient, had chronic illnesses, and was in an intensive care unit (ICU)
  • A 54-year-old resident healthcare worker with chronic illnesses who was in stable condition in an ICU
  • A 49-year-old citizen, also in stable condition in an ICU

In an English-language statement dated yesterday, the MOH announced that an 83-year-old in the Eastern region who had "many chronic diseases" died of MERS-CoV. The patient appears to be the same 83-year-old whose case was announced a day earlier.

The MOH's MERS-CoV tally now stands at 124 cases with 52 deaths.

The case in Qatar involves a 23-year-old male "expatriate" who is asymptomatic, according to a report today from The Peninsula, an English-language newspaper in Qatar. The country's Supreme Council of Health discovered the case during "epidemic investigation procedures," the story said, without giving any information on the man's possible exposures.

The diagnosis was made at the National Influenza Laboratory, according to the story. It said the patient's contacts were also tested, and initial results were all negative.

The case is Qatar's seventh and is the first in a non-Qatari, the report said. The last previous case in the country involved a 61-year-old man whose illness was announced Oct 17.

The new cases have not yet been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO's MERS-CoV tally remains at 144 cases with 62 deaths.

See also:

Translated MOH statement on three new cases

Oct 27 English-language MOH statement on death of 83-year-old woman

Oct 28 Peninsula story on Qatar case

MOH site showing MERS case count

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