Saudi Arabia notes new MERS case; WHO details 12

The cluster of recent MERS-CoV cases in Hofuf grew by 1 today, to a total of 8, while the World Health Organization (WHO) provided details on 12 recent Saudi cases, including 7 in Riyadh and 3 in Hofuf.

New Hofuf case

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) said that a 28-year-old female foreign healthcare worker is in critical condition after contracting MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). She was exposed to the virus in a healthcare setting.

Her case is the eighth in the city since Oct 19, most of them tied to healthcare settings. An MOH statement in Arabic yesterday said the previous seven cases were linked to Almana General Hospital in Hofuf.

In today's statement the MOH also noted that a 78-year-old Saudi man in Hofuf died from his MERS infection and that a 61-year-old Saudi woman in Riyadh has recovered from the disease. Both had preexisting conditions, and neither was a health worker.

Today's developments bring the number of Saudi MERS cases to 1,273, including 542 deaths. Fifteen patients are still undergoing treatment, the MOH said.

WHO on 12 cases, 1 death

In addition to discussing the seven Riyadh and three Hofuf MERS cases, the WHO today provided details on a case in Al-Kharj and one in Dawadmi. Saudi officials provided the WHO with information on the cases from Oct 17 through Oct 24. 

Four of the patients are listed in critical condition, 6 are stable, 1 is asymptomatic, and 1 died. One of the patients—a 47-year-old foreign woman in Riyadh—is a healthcare worker who had cared for a lab-confirmed MERS patient.

The patients range in age from 28 to 76, and seven are women, which is unusual. Six are non-Saudis. Seven have underlying medical conditions.

Five patients plus the previously noted health worker had exposure to other MERS-CoV patients. Four are foreign female janitors in Riyadh who share a compound, and the other shared a medical ward with a previous MERS patient.

One patient reported recent exposure to both camels and sheep. Possible exposure risks are being investigated for the other five patients, including the one who died, a 45-year-old foreign man in Al-Kharj.

The WHO has now confirmed 1,611 MERS cases, including at least 575 deaths.

See also:

Oct 29 MOH update

Oct 29 WHO update

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