News Scan for Jan 29, 2020

Ebola in the DRC
Saudi MERS cases

Ebola sickens 1 more in DRC; healthcare spread noted in recent Beni cases

One more illness has been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC's) Ebola outbreak, raising the total to 3,421, of which 2,242 were fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard.

The latest daily update from the DRC's Ebola technical committee (CMRE) said two recent cases noted on the WHO's dashboard yesterday were in Beni.

Also, the WHO yesterday released a detailed weekly situation report on the outbreak, which said that, for the week ending Jan 26, four cases were reported in Beni, three of them in registered contacts. The report noted that the fourth was not on the contact list and had stayed in the community for 4 days before admission to an Ebola treatment center.

The person passed the virus to two other people in Beni, possibly through nosocomial transmission. All of the new cases, however, are linked to a known transmission chain that began in December of Mabalako's Aloya health area.

As weekly cases decline compared with previous months, the focus should be on identifying and investigating all contacts to detect cases as early as possible to prevent community and healthcare spread, the WHO said.
WHO Ebola dashboard
Jan 28 CMRE
Jan 27 WHO Ebola
situation report


MERS infects 2 more in Saudi Arabia

Today Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two more MERS-CoV cases, one in Riyadh and one in Sarat Abidah.

The MOH said the patient from Riyadh is a 66-year-old man, whose exposure to MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is listed as primary, meaning he probably didn't contract it from another known patient. He is not a healthcare worker, and his camel contact status is not known. 

The MOH also said MERS-CoV was detected in a 70-year-old man from Sarat Abidah, who had secondary exposure to the virus. He is not a healthcare worker, and his camel contact status is also unknown. Sarat Abidah is in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has now reported 14 cases in January. Over the past few weeks, 5 cases have been reported in Abha, 3 of them involving healthcare workers, hinting at a hospital-related outbreak. It is not known if either of the new cases is tied to that cluster.

The WHO said in its latest monthly update that, since 2012, it has received reports of 2,499 MERS-CoV cases, at least 861 of them fatal.
Jan 29 MOH

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