Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has had a recent uptick in cases in Saudi Arabia with health care facilities apparently being a prime target for infection. WHO has mobilized a team to support Saudi Arabia to review the current situation, identify information gaps to better understand the public health risk associated with the current upsurge in cases, particularly in health-care settings, and to determine the type of further investigations to be conducted, in order to understand the transmission chain and health care associated transmission.
The newly laboratory confirmed infections in Saudi Arabia raise the total number of laboratory confirmed MERS-CoV infections to 371, including 107 deaths. The individuals with confirmed asymptomatic infections have been tested as part of contact tracing and represent probable person-to-person transmission.
The Ministry of Health of Egypt reported the 1st laboratory-confirmed case of infection of MERS-CoV in the country. The patient is a 27-year-old man who has been living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the past 4 years. The patient had contact with a previously laboratory-confirmed case (his uncle) who died on [19 Apr 2014], and another laboratory-confirmed case (neighbor of his uncle) who is still under treatment in a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom’s MOH has a complete website on MERS-CoV with very interesting cartoon style art which they are using to educate their citizens on protective measures. Check it out and share with anyone who might be traveling to the region.