MERS infects 3 more in Saudi Arabia, 1 fatally
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) today reported three more MERS-CoV cases, all secondary infections in Khafji where two other cases were recently reported, potentially signifying a household or healthcare cluster.
The patients are all men, one of whom was a 56-year-old man who died from his MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infection, the MOH said in an update to its epidemiologic week 14 report. The others are ages 49 and 59. It's not known whether any of the three had recent camel contact.
Khajfi is in northeastern Saudi Arabia near the border with Kuwait. The two earlier patients were a 75-year-old man who had contact with camels and whose illness was reported on Mar 29 and a 25-year-old man with secondary exposure whose infection was reported on Mar 31.
The trio of new cases lifts the country's total for the year to 119 infections, which includes 57 linked to a large outbreak in Wadi ad-Dawasir.
Apr 4 Saudi MOH update
Cholera vaccine campaign starts in wake of Mozambique cyclone flooding
Global health groups launched an oral cholera vaccine campaign yesterday in Beira, Mozambique, to curb an outbreak following severe flooding from the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai, which struck the country and three of its neighbors in March.
In a press release yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said nearly 1,500 cholera cases and one death have already been reported and nine cholera treatment centers are already admitting patients.
Nearly 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine from the global stockpile arrived in Mozambique on Apr 2. The stockpile is funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which also supports the campaign's operational costs. The campaign will be conducted by Mozambique's health ministry with support from the WHO and other partners, including UNICEF, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, and Save the Children.
Seth Berkley, MD, Gavi's chief executive officer, said in the statement that the cyclone left Beira's water and sanitation infrastructure in ruins, providing conditions for the spread of cholera, which is endemic in the country. "This cyclone has already caused enough devastation and misery across south east Africa; we have to hope these vaccines will help stop a potentially major outbreak and prevent yet more suffering."
Apr 3 WHO press release