WHO reports two new MERS-CoV cases in Saudi Arabia

The World Health Organization reported on Monday it was informed of two new laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in Saudi Arabia.

The two cases brought the global total of MERS-CoV laboratory-confirmed cases up to 153, including 64 deaths, since September 2012.

The first new case occurred in a 72-year-old man from Riyadh with underlying medical conditions. He became ill on October 23 and has been hospitalized since October 31. The second case occurred in a 43-year-old man from Jeddah. The man became sick on October 27 and has been hospitalized since November 3.

The WHO encouraged all Member States to keep up surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to review any usual patterns carefully. Recent travelers coming back from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV, according to the current WHO surveillance recommendations.

Patients diagnosed with MERS-CoV experienced respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhea is also commonly reported among the patients. Severe MERS-CoV complications include acute respiratory distress syndrome, renal failure and shock. Severely immunocompromised patients may present atypical symptoms and signs of MERS-CoV.

The WHO reminded all Member States to quickly assess and notify WHO of any new cases of MERS-CoV.