WHO confirms additional MERS-CoV case in Saudi Arabia

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health reported an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection on January 28.

The case occurred in a 60-year-old man from Riyadh who first showed symptoms on January 19. The man had underlying medical conditions and was hospitalized on January 24. The patient later died on January 28.

According to the ministry, the details of the patient's potential contact with animals was unknown and he had no history of contact with any other laboratory-confirmed cases.

The WHO also learned of the death of a previously reported MERS-CoV case in United Arab Emirates. The 33-year-old male healthcare worker from Dubai passed away on January 16.

Since September 2012, the WHO was informed of a total of 181 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection, including 79 deaths.

The WHO said that MERS-CoV infections that may be acquired in healthcare facilities demonstrate the need to continue to strengthen infection control and prevention methods. The organization recommends that all standard precautions are used consistently for patients regardless of suspected or confirmed infection with MERS-CoV or any other pathogen.

The WHO encouraged all Member States to continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to review any unusual patterns carefully.