Six more cases of MERS-CoV reported in Saudi Arabia

The World Health Organization announced on Friday that it was informed of six additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in Saudi Arabia.

All six new patients are from the Riyadh region and five of them were hospitalized with severe symptoms. The dates of onset of the patients, which include three women and three men, range between September 15 and September 26. Three of the patients were contacts of previously confirmed MERS-CoV patients.

Two of the patients reportedly had no exposure to animals or a confirmed case, while there is no information on exposure of the remaining patient.

Since September 2012, the WHO was informed of a total of 138 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection globally. The cases include 58 deaths.

The WHO encouraged all Member States to continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to review any strange patterns. Recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV.

The WHO reminded all Member States to quickly assess and notify the organization of any new infections with MERS-CoV, in addition to information about potential exposures that could have resulted in infection. The exposure sources must be investigated to determine the mode of exposure and prevent further transmission of the virus.