ECDC updates coronavirus rapid risk assessment

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recently published an update of its rapid risk assessment of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in response to new infections and confirmed person-to-person transmission.

Thirty-eight cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide since May 14, 20 of which resulted in death. All 38 cases are sourced from the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan but person-to-person transmission was confirmed in the United Kingdom and France.

Nineteen new infections were reported in the past two weeks in Saudi Arabia, one of which led to a person-to-person infection in the U.K. when a person went to visit family in the hospital. The confirmed transmission from person-to-person in France occurred when an infected patient shared a hospital room with another patient; the infection is believed to have spread by nosocomial transmission.

The ECDC said in its report that it is continuing to investigate the outbreak but levels of uncertainty are high and unusual. Neither the ECDC nor the World Health Organization recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

The report said people who must travel to the Arabian Peninsula or Jordan should be aware of the possibility of infection, as it is present in that region.

This is the fourth update of the rapid risk assessment of MERS-CoV.