Saudi Arabia reported five more MERS cases over the weekend, raising the total for this month to 37, but no new cases were announced today.
All five patients are men who are in stable condition, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported. None of them are healthcare workers.
The two cases reported Mar 14 involve two men, a 47-year-old in Hofuf and a 60-year-old in Taimah, the ministry said. Both had preexisting conditions. The older man had a history of exposure to animals before he got sick, but neither of them had any other known exposure risks.
Yesterday the MOH reported the illness in a 44-year-old expatriate in Khafji, a town on the Kuwait border, and in two Saudis, ages 56 and 27, in Riyadh. The only MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome) risk factor among them was exposure to animals for the Khafji man.
The MOH also reported three deaths over the weekend. The victims were all Saudis who lived in Riyadh and were 59, 61, and 62 years old. Officials reported the recovery of two other patients, a 46-year-old foreign woman and a 56-year-old Saudi man, both in Riyadh.
The latest developments brought the MOH's MERS count to 957 cases, including 516 deaths, 416 patients recovered, and 25 still in treatment or home isolation.
In other news, the MOH today released its weekly summary of MERS cases, providing some data on 15 cases reported from Mar 8 through 14.
They involved 10 men and 5 women ranging in age from 21 to 72 years. Ten cases occurred in Riyadh, the epicenter of MERS activity, with 2 in Al-Ahsa and 1 each in Jeddah, Al-Qassim, and Tabuk. By nationality, the patients included 10 Saudis, 2 Sudanese, 1 Filipino, 1 Egyptian, and 1 Yemeni.
Of the Riyadh cases, 3 were community-acquired, 2 were in healthcare workers, 3 were hospital-acquired, 1 involved contact with a patient at home, and another was still being investigated. The Al-Ahsa and Jeddah cases were community-acquired, while the Al-Qassim case was under investigation. No exposure information was listed for the Tabuk one.
Mar 16 MOH statement
Mar 15 MOH statement
Mar 14 MOH statement
Mar 15 MOH weekly update