Jordan reports travel-linked MERS case, Riyadh outbreak total grows

Jordan's health ministry yesterday announced a MERS-CoV detection in a man who had recently traveled from Saudi Arabia, where the number of newly confirmed cases grew by three, including two that are likely part of a large hospital-linked outbreak in Riyadh.

The apparently travel-linked illness in Jordan comes at a time when global health officials are on edge for spread of the virus in the wake of a travel-related case in May that triggered a large hospital outbreak in South Korea and as Saudi health officials battle a large hospital outbreak in Riyadh that began toward the end of July.

In related developments, the World Health Organization (WHO) today released details about 29 recently reported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections reported by Saudi Arabia, 24 of them linked to Riyadh's hospital outbreak.

Jordan announced imported case

Jordan's latest imported MERS-CoV case involves a man in his 60s who was admitted to a private hospital with symptoms that included breathing problems and fever, according to a report yesterday from Petra, Jordan's news agency.

The report, which cited Jordan's health ministry, didn't say where in Saudi Arabia the man traveled from, when he arrived in Jordan, or how he arrived in the country. The man's illness lifts Jordan's MERS-CoV total to 13, according to the report.

Jordan confirmed its last MERS-CoV cases in May.

Riyadh total grows by two

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) today reported three more MERS-CoV cases, two from Riyadh and one from Hofuf, a city in the northeastern part of the country that experienced an outbreak in May and June.

The two cases from Riyadh may be associated with an outbreak linked to King Abdulaziz Medical City, with an exposure under review for one of the patients and contact with a confirmed case in the community or hospital noted for the other. The patients include a 60-year-old Saudi man who is hospitalized in critical condition and a 32-year-old Saudi man who is a healthcare worker and is listed in stable condition.

The country's third newest lab-confirmed patient is a 65-year-old Saudi man from Hofuf who is hospitalized in critical condition.

The MOH said 56 people are still being treated for their illnesses and six more are in home isolation.

Five more people, all from Riyadh, have recovered from their MERS-CoV infections, the MOH said, boosting the number of people who have recovered since the virus was first detected in 2012 to 603.

Saudi Arabia's latest MERS-CoV detections lift its overall total to 1,165 cases, 498 of them fatal.

WHO update details hospital connections

A new update from the WHO today shed more light on the Riyadh outbreak, covering 29 cases from the city reported by Saudi Arabia between Aug 18 and Aug 21, including 24 linked to the main hospital outbreak and one linked to a smaller hospital outbreak in Riyadh. Last week an official from the WHO said five MERS-CoV cases had been detected at another hospital but that the outbreak had been contained.

All of the patients are adults ranging in age from 28 to 109 years old. Seventeen are men and 12 are women. Illness onsets ranged from Jul 30 through Aug 19.

Four of the patients covered in the report are contacts of earlier confirmed cases.

Three are healthcare workers, two of them foreigners: a 40-year-old woman and a 35-year-old woman. The third is a 59-year-old woman.

Four people were infected with MERS-CoV while hospitalized for an unrelated medical condition. Three others had visited the emergency department (ED) of a hospital experiencing an outbreak before they got sick.

Six patients died from their illnesses. All were seniors, except for a 35-year-old man. However, all six had underlying medical conditions. Also, the WHO said it had been informed by Saudi Arabia of an additional death in a previously reported patient.

Eighteen of the patients are hospitalized in stable condition, and five are listed as critical.

Globally, the WHO said it has received reports of 1,461 lab-confirmed MERS-CoV cases, at least 514 of them fatal.

See also:

Aug 25 Petra story 

Aug 26 Saudi MOH update

Aug 26 WHO update

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