WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

New cases of Middle East Respiratory syndrome conavirus reported to WHO

Several new cases of Middle East Respiratory syndrome conavirus (MERS-CoV) were recently reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia (SAU).

The new cases include seven individuals that have the infection and one death has also been identified, all taking place between Sep. 29 and Oct. 11. The contacts of these people are being traced to make sure there are no other infections resulting from interaction with them.

The National IHR Focal Point of SAU has also reported, after surveying non-Ministry of Health hospitals, that between August 2013 and May 2014 there were 19 cases of MERS-CoV and 11 deaths attributed to MERS-CoV.

Across the world there have been 877 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV and at least 317 deaths.

While there are no travel or trade protections in place, the WHO asks that high-risk individuals take extra precautions and avoid close contact with animals, specifically camels. The high-risk population includes people with diabetes, chronic lung disease and renal failure.

Precautions for the whole population include regular hand washing and keeping food hygiene practices, including the avoidance of drinking camel milk or camel urine.

The WHO also adds that because the early symptoms of MERS-CoV are not specific to only this infection, heath care facilities should be diligent in taking contact precautions even if is not a confirmed case.

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