Saudi Arabia cites 3 more MERS cases in Hofuf

An ongoing trickle of MERS cases in the Saudi Arabian city of Hofuf continued with three more in the past few days, and the World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak there involves two hospitals.

In an update late on Jun 19, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases, one in a 52-year-old Saudi man in stable condition and the other in a 61-year-old Saudi woman in critical condition. Neither one is a healthcare worker, but officials were investigating whether they had contact with other MERS patients in a hospital or elsewhere.

The MOH reported the third Hofuf case on Jun 20. The patient is a 60-year-old visiting healthcare worker who was exposed to other MERS patients, though the statement doesn't say where. She is in stable condition.

No new cases were reported yesterday or today. With the latest illnesses, the MOH's MERS tally reached 1,038 cases, including 459 deaths, 573 recoveries, and 6 patients still getting treatment.

WHO's mid-year update

The WHO's Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, in an update on MERS-CoV in the Middle East, said 212 cases, with 95 deaths, were reported from Jan 1 through Jun 15 of this year. Saudi Arabia accounted for 201 cases, with 4 in the United Arab Emirates, 3 in Qatar, 3 in Oman, and 1 in Iran. The update apparently was posted yesterday.

Saudi Arabia's case count for the period is well below last year's 573 cases for the same stretch, the update shows. The case-fatality rate this year is slightly higher, 47% versus 39%, while the median age is lower (49 versus 55 years), as is the proportion of patients who were healthcare workers (10% versus 29%). The gender imbalance this year is more heavily male, at 76%, versus 60% last year.

As of Jun 15, the Hofuf outbreak included 31 cases and 14 deaths, for a 45.1% case-fatality rate, according to the update.

A graph about the outbreak shows that two hospitals are involved. The first case in hospital A surfaced in mid-April, and hospital B had its first case 2 weeks later. Each hospital had cases in the last 2 weeks of May, but only hospital B had cases in the first week of June. The hospitals are not identified.

See also:

Jun 19 MOH update

Jun 20 MOH update

WHO update

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