News Scan for Jun 09, 2014

More Saudi MERS cases
World Cup vaccine advice
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With seven more cases, Saudi MERS count reaches 700

Saudi Arabia has reported seven more MERS-CoV infections since Jun 6, lifting the country's count to 700 cases, including 287 deaths.

The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 4 MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases on Jun 6, 1 on Jun 7, and 2 today. (The Jun 6 cases were not reported here previously because the ministry's Web site was down much of that day.)

The four cases reported Jun 6 all involve men in their 20s and 30s who have no symptoms, according to the MOH. All are described as expatriates living in Al Jawf, but only one is a healthcare worker.

The case reported Jun 7 is in a 41-year-old man who is hospitalized in Dammam. He is not a healthcare worker and has a preexisting condition, the MOH said.

Today the MOH announced that MERS-CoV has struck a 72-year-old Saudi man in Mecca and a 36-year-old male expatriate in Medina who is a healthcare worker. The older man is in an intensive care unit, and the younger man, though he has symptoms, is in home isolation.

The MOH did not mention whether any of the patients had contact with other MERS patients or give any other information on how they were exposed to the virus.

Yesterday the ministry reported that two previously reported case-patients died. They were two men, ages 48 and 75, in Medina.

No new information was forthcoming today about the 113 cases and 92 deaths that the MOH added to its MERS tally on Jun 3. Most of them occurred in March and April but were not reported at the time.
Jun 6 Saudi statement
Jun 7 Saudi statement
Jun 9 Saudi statement
Jun 8 Saudi statement on two deaths


PAHO, WHO issue World Cup alert over measles, rubella

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) are encouraging people planning to travel to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA (soccer) World Cup, which starts Jun 13, to get vaccinated against measles and rubella, as well as other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Endemic transmission of measles was interrupted in the Americas in 2002 and transmission of rubella in 2009, but imported cases still occur, and the disease continues to circulate in other parts of the world, the agencies said in a joint news release. Of the 32 countries with teams in the World Cup, 19 reported measles cases in 2013.

"Intensified international travel and population movement associated with mass events such as the World Cup increase the risk of imported cases of measles, rubella and other vaccine-preventable diseases," the news release states. "For this reason, PAHO/WHO is calling on travelers to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines and, if not, to get vaccinated against measles and rubella, ideally at least two weeks before traveling."

The World Cup is expected to draw some 600,000 visitors from around the globe.
Jun 6 PAHO/WHO press release

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