Two more MERS virus cases in Saudi
Geneva, July 22, 2013
Two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection have been reported from Saudi Arabia, World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
Both the cases are currently critically ill and hospitalised in ICUs.
The first case is a 41-year-old Saudi male in Riyadh who presented to the hospital with symptoms on July 15 and the second patient is a 59-year-old Saudi female in the Al-Ahsa governorate. She presented with symptoms on July 11.
Both patients have underlying medical conditions, but neither patient has had contact with known MERS-CoV confirmed cases or animals. WHO is seeking more information from the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia, it said.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 90 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 45 deaths, it said.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.
"Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations," it said.
Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhea, in patients who are immunocompromised, the WHO advice added. -TradeArabia News Service