Camel contact common in recent Saudi MERS cases

Direct contact with camels, a known risk factor for contracting MERS-CoV has been reported in most recent cases, according to new reports from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

After a lapse in daily reports since Oct 3, the Saudi MOH said today that a 77-year-old Saudi man from Al Bukayriyah has MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). The man presented with symptoms of the virus and is in critical condition. He had direct contact with camels.

Also today, the MOH reported the death of a 72-year-old man from Tabuk. He also had contact with camels, according to an earlier MOH report. On Oct 4 the agency reported that a 52-year-old man from Taif also passed away from infection with MERS-CoV, but that notification hadn't been posted on the MOH site until recently.

Since 2012, Saudi Arabia has confirmed 1,728 MERS cases, including 701 deaths. Two people are being treated for the disease.

WHO describes 9 September cases

Also today, the WHO released new details on nine cases of MERS-CoV reported in Saudi Arabia between Aug 31 and Sep 26. Five of the patients had camel contact. Four of the patients died, and another four deaths were reported in previously recorded cases.

The five patients with camel contact all reported drinking raw camel's milk.

Only one case had exposure to another person with MERS-CoV. That patient was associated with a healthcare outbreak in Dumah Al Jandal reported earlier in the summer. Both Riyadh and Hofuf reported three cases each. Hail, Taif, and Dumah Al Jandal were the sites of the remaining cases.

Six of the cases were in men, and all patients had documented comorbidities.

Since 2012, a total of 2,090 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases worldwide, including at least 730 related deaths, have been reported to the WHO.

See also:

Oct 9 MOH report  

Oct 4 MOH report

Oct 9 WHO report

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