Of four new MERS-CoV cases reported by Saudi Arabia today, two are part of what appears to be a growing hospital outbreak in Hofuf, a city in the eastern part of the country.
The new cases continue a steady trickle of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases, much of them linked to healthcare and other settings.
Hofuf cluster rises to 7
The two cases in Hofuf both involve Saudi men who contracted their infections from patients in healthcare settings, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said. One is a 57-year-old who is in stable condition, and the other is an 81-year-old who is listed as critical.
Today's cases lift the number of MERS-CoV infections reported from Hofuf to seven since Oct 19, five of them with links to other hospitalized patients.
One Riyadh case hospital-linked
The other two cases are in Riyadh, one of them also tied to a healthcare setting. The virus sickened a 24-year-old foreign woman who is a healthcare worker, with MOH listing the source of her infection as secondary and healthcare-acquired. She is listed in stable condition.
The other patient is a 56-year-old Saudi woman who has an asymptomatic infection and is reported to be a household contact of an earlier case. She is in stable condition.
Riyadh has been a hot spot of MERS-CoV activity over the past few months, with many of the cases coming from a large hospital outbreak and a spurt of recent cases coming from a cluster of foreign women working as janitors at a local university and sharing a crowded apartment.
In its statement today the MOH also reported the recovery a 26-year-old foreign woman who appears to be part of the janitor roommate cluster. So far 713 people have recovered from MERS-CoV since its first detection in the country in 2012.
The new cases reported today lift Saudi Arabia's overall total from the disease to 1,272 cases, which includes 541 deaths.
Oct 27 Saudi MOH statement
Oct 26 CIDRAP News story "Saudi Arabia confirms 4 MERS cases, 2 deaths"