WHO has been informed of an additional eight laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.
The cases include two men with underlying medical conditions from Riyadh who died, three women and one man, also from Riyadh, and two men from Asir region. Additionally, a previously laboratory-confirmed case from the United Arab Emirates has died.
The two cases who died were 54 and 51 years-old from Riyadh, who were suffering from pre-existing chronic illnesses. The other patients include:
a 50-year-old woman with an underlying medical condition, from Riyadh, who became ill on 1 August 2013 and is currently hospitalized, now off mechanical ventilation;
a 59-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who became ill on 23 July 2013 and is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit and is in critical condition;
a 50-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit;
a 70-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit;
a 31-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, from Asir, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit; and
a 55-year-old man from Asir who is a contact of a confirmed case, and is asymptomatic.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 49 deaths.
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.
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 diarrhoea, in patients who are immunocompromised.