ECDC updates guidance on MERS-CoV

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued an update on Tuesday on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, a virus that infected 64 people and killed 38 through Monday.

All 64 cases of MERS-CoV are related to transmission in the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan. Some cases resulted from indirect association after secondary person-to-person transmission in the U.K., France, Tunisia and Italy.

Reports of new infections in Saudi Arabia in the past few weeks show there is an ongoing source of infection and a low risk of human transmission in the Middle East. The routes of transmission and the source of infection are not yet determined.

Since May 17, 26 additional confirmed cases of MERS-CoV were reported worldwide, 19 of which were reported from Saudi Arabia.

The ECDC recommends that European Union citizens traveling to the MIddle East be aware of the presence of MERS-CoV in the area and the risk of infection. Travelers developing symptoms during travel or up to 14 days after returning should seek medical attention and provide their history of travel.

The five human-to-human transmissions documented in Europe, two of which are nosocomial, show that the risk of future transmissions in Europe is significant, particularly in healthcare settings.

The fatality rate of MERS-CoV is 59 percent through Monday.