Two new cases of MERS-CoV confirmed in Kuwait

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that it was informed of two laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in Kuwait.

The two new cases bring the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases up to 157 globally since September 2012. Infections with MERS-CoV caused 66 deaths in total.

The first new patient is a 47-year-old man who became ill on October 30. He was hospitalized on November 7 and remains in critical condition. The second case occurred in a 52-year-old man with underlying medical conditions. After becoming ill on November 7, he was hospitalized on November 10 and remains in critical condition.

The announcement came a week after two additional MERS-CoV cases were confirmed in Saudi Arabia. The cases included a 72-year-old man from Riyadh with underlying medical conditions and a 43-year-old man from Jeddah. Both patients were still hospitalized at the time of the report.

The WHO encouraged all Member States to keep up surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to review any strange patterns carefully. Healthcare providers were advised to maintain vigilance and test recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI for MERS-CoV.

The WHO convened an emergency committee under the International Health Regulations to advise WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the status of the current situation. The committee determined the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern have not been met.