News Scan for Mar 24, 2014

Three new MERS cases
More Caribbean chikungunya

Saudi Arabia reports 3 serious MERS-CoV infections

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) late on Mar 21 reported three cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections in adults from Riyadh.

The patients are 45, 56, and 75 years old, and all have chronic medical conditions, the MOH said in a statement in Arabic on its Web site. All are hospitalized and receiving intensive care. It did not specify the sex of the patients, whether they had contact with animals, or other details.

The announcement of the latest cases brought a fairly busy MERS-CoV week to a close, with 13 cases reported in 7 days. The MOH's current posted MERS count is 162 cases with 64 deaths.
Mar 21 MOH statement (in Arabic)


Caribbean chikungunya cases approach 16,000

The Caribbean now has 15,913 confirmed, probable, or suspected cases of chikungunya, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an update today, up from 10,476 at the end of February. The outbreak is the first known in the Americas; it began on St. Martin in December 2013.

Martinique continues to have the most cases, with 7,630 suspected and 1,141 confirmed or probable cases, the ECDC said. The French side of St. Martin is next, with 2,640 suspected and 782 confirmed or probable cases, but the pace of new cases appears to be slowing there. Guadeloupe has 1,960 suspected and 586 confirmed or probable cases.

The next hardest-hit areas are: St. Barthelemy, 420 suspected and 134 confirmed or probable cases; the Dutch side of St. Martin, 115 confirmed cases; Dominica, 392 suspected and 56 confirmed cases; French Guiana, 22 confirmed locally acquired and 10 imported cases; Anguilla, 14 confirmed cases; and Aruba and St. Kitts/Nevis each with 1 confirmed case.

The ECDC also reported 3 chikingunya-related deaths on the French side of St. Martin and 2 on Martinique.
Mar 24 ECDC update

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