WHO announces four new cases of MERS-CoV

The World Health Organization announced on Saturday that it was informed of an additional four laboratory-confirmed bases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in Saudi Arabia.

Since September of last year, WHO has announced a total of 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV, resulting in 50 deaths. The WHO has encouraged all of its Member States to continue to monitor for severe acute respiratory infection and to note any unusual symptoms.

The WHO has asked health care workers to remain diligent about surveillance. It is also recommended all persons diagnosed with SARI that have recently traveled to the Middle East be tested for MERS-CoV. It is recommended that specimens be taken from a patient's lower respiratory tract when possible to obtain the best diagnosis.

The WHO reminded health care workers to remain diligent in implementation of infection prevention and control methods to keep a potential outbreak at bay. Health care facilities are expected to pay special attention to patients with suspected or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV to decrease the risk of the infection being spread to health care workers, other patients and visitors.

All Member States are asked to notify the WHO promptly of any new cases of MERS-CoV infection, along with information about exposure and how the suspected exposure is traced to prevent a potential outbreak. The WHO does not advise special screening points or recommend any travel restrictions at this point.