Saudi Arabia says 2 more MERS patients have died

MERS-CoV micrograph
MERS-CoV micrograph

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing particles of MERS-CoV., NIAID/Flickr

Two more Saudi Arabians have died of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infections, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported today. Both cases had been announced previously.

The patients were a 75-year-old "citizen" in Al-Ahsa governorate and a 63-year-old woman in Riyadh. The MOH simultaneously also announced the recovery of three other MERS patients: a 61-year-old citizen in Al-Ahsa, a 41-year-old woman in the Riyadh region, and a 50-year-old woman in the Eastern region.

The two deaths raise the Saudi death toll, unofficially, to 36, out of 64 cases. At this writing, the MOH's coronavirus overview page has not been updated since Jun 24 and still lists the death toll at 34.

The current World Health Organization global count, which does not include the latest deaths, stands at 77 cases and 40 deaths.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor any other country has reported any new MERS cases since Jun 23, when the MOH announced seven, six of which were described as asymptomatic. The lull follows a very active MERS-CoV period of about 2 months.

It was on May 2 that Saudi Arabia announced seven new MERS-CoV cases, including five deaths. It later became clear that these were part of an outbreak that involved at least three hospitals in Al-Ahsa; it eventually grew to 25 cases.

The month of May also brought the first MERS-CoV cases in France, Tunisia, and Italy.

France's first case involved a man who had vacationed in the United Arab Emirates, while the Tunisian case was in a man who had been in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Italy, a man who had traveled to Jordan became infected.

All three of these cases led to one or two more cases in close contacts but did not lead to ongoing spread of the virus.

See also:

Jul 2 Saudi MOH statement

May 2 CIDRAP News story about seven Saudi cases

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