News Scan for Jan 27, 2016

New Saudi MERS case
More chikungunya infections

Saudi Arabia confirms new MERS case

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed a new MERS-CoV case today in the central city of Al-Kharj, the country's fifth case in under a week.

The new MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) case involves a 47-year-old Saudi man who had direct contact with camels, a known risk factor for the disease. He is hospitalized in stable condition and is not a healthcare worker, the MOH said.

Since the virus emerged in the country in 2012, the MOH has confirmed 1,288 cases, including 551 deaths.

After Saudi MERS cases peaked at 126 in August 2015, they have dropped steadily, to 66 in September, 24 in October, 4 in November, 5 in December, and 7 so far this month.
Jan 27 Saudi MOH update


PAHO reports 3,000 new chikungunya infections

Although Zika virus is garnering much media attention of late, the other surging mosquito-borne virus in the Americas—chikungunya—continues its steady increase, with 3,083 new cases reported last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported today.

The newly reported illnesses bring the total for 2015 and 2016 to 696,409 suspected and confirmed cases, PAHO said in an update posted today but dated Jan 22. The week before the agency reported 7,599 new chikungunya cases. The total since the outbreak began in 2013 is now 1,843,178 cases

The number of chikungunya-related deaths held at 71.

The vast majority of new cases are in Guatemala, which noted 2,982 new cases and 32,739 total for 2015 and 2016. Peru logged 110 new cases over several weeks, bringing its 2015-16 total to 295.

The vast majority of countries in the region, however, have not provided updates to PAHO for many weeks. The epidemic began in December 2013 with the first locally acquired chikungunya case ever reported in the Americas, on St. Martin in the Caribbean.
Jan 22 PAHO update

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