SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

WHO reports six additional MERS cases in Saudi Arabia

WHO reports six additional MERS cases in Saudi Arabia. | Courtesy of the CDC
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday that six cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus have been reported in Saudi Arabia between Sept. 20 and 26.

The WHO states that contract tracing of household and healthcare related contacts for these individuals is currently ongoing. Of the six cases reported within this past week, one individual who had comorbidities died on Sept. 25.

Globally the organization has received confirmation on 1,589 MERS cases since the virus was first reported in 2012. The disease has resulted in 567 deaths globally.

With cases ongoing the WHO recommends that all member states to continue surveillance and to take prevention and control measure so that any MERS cases do not spread further. All are encouraged to ensure proper food hygiene, and raw milk from camels and undercooked meat should be avoided. They also state that sick animals should also be avoided.

Those with renal failure, chronic lung disease, diabetes and immunocompromised individuals should take special care as they are considered to be at high risk of MERS infection.

MERS presents itself with a fever, shortness of breath and coughing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that complications are possible with an infection of this type and can include gastrointestinal problems and could result in pneumonia or kidney failure. 

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