TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

WHO reports three new MERS-CoV cases and two deaths

The World Health Organization announced on Nov. 26 three additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, two of which resulted in death.

A 73-year-old woman from Riyadh fell ill with MERS-CoV on Nov. 12 and died on Nov. 18 in the hospital, four days after admission. A 37-year-old man, also from Riyadh, fell ill on Nov. 9, was hospitalized on Nov. 13 and died on Nov. 18. The third victim, a 65-year-old man from Jawf, fell ill on Nov. 4 and was hospitalized on Nov. 14; his condition is unknown.

Laboratory testing proved none of the three patients had previous exposure to infected animals or close contact with any previously infected person. These three cases bring the global total of laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV to 160, including 68 deaths.

The WHO recommends all of its Member States continue monitoring for severe acute respiratory infections and encourages health care workers to test all patients with SARI for MERS-CoV. Health care facilities are also encouraged to upkeep infection prevention and control methods.

MERS-CoV infections usually cause respiratory disease in its victims. Additional symptoms caused by MERS-CoV infection include diarrhea, renal failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome and shock. In severe cases, atypical symptoms may develop.

The WHO asks that all new cases of MERS-CoV be reported promptly. It does not recommend special screening points, travel or trade restrictions at this time.