News Scan for Aug 25, 2015

More MERS in Riyadh
H5N2 in Taiwan

MERS sickens eight more in Riyadh outbreak

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) today reported eight more lab-confirmed Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases, one of them fatal and all from Riyadh, where a large hospital-linked outbreak is ongoing. The MOH also said five case-patients announced previously have died from their infections.

All of the patients—five men and three women—are adults, with ages ranging from 30 to 81 years old. Two are foreign healthcare workers, a 30-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man. Exposure to confirmed or suspected contacts has been pinned down for one patient but is still under review for the other seven.

The newly confirmed patient who died was a 69-year-old woman. Among the other new cases, five are hospitalized in stable condition and two are listed as critical.

Meanwhile, the five deaths in previously announced case-patients are all from Riyadh and are adults ranging from ages 56 to 87. The group includes four men and two women. All five of them had underlying medical conditions, a common theme in people who die from MERS-CoV infections.

Currently, 57 people are still being treated for their illnesses and nine are on home isolation. Six recent patients from Riyadh have recovered from their MERS-CoV infections, raising the overall recovery number since the virus was first detected in 2012 to 598.

Today's developments lift the country's overall total from the disease to 1,162 cases, which includes 498 deaths.
Aug 25 Saudi MOH statement


High-path avian flu outbreak reported in Taiwan

Taiwanese agriculture officials responded to two outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 in poultry earlier this month, according to a report filed yesterday with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The virus struck poultry farms in Changhua County's Dacheng Township, located on Taiwan's western coast, on Aug 1 and Aug 8.

In the first outbreak, the virus killed 6,640 of 21,500 susceptible birds, and the remaining 14,860 were culled to stop the spread of the virus. The same virus killed 5,312 of 38,000 susceptible birds during the second outbreak, and the remaining 32,688 birds were destroyed.

Taiwanese officials have increased surveillance of poultry farms within a 3-kilometer radius of the infected area.
Aug 24 OIE report

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