On 30 November WHO updated the number of confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus which has been temporarily named hCoV-EMC. Between April 2012 and 30 November 2012, nine confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus (of whom five died) have been reported to WHO, according to its case definitions. Severe acute respiratory disease was the common presentation of all cases.
Five of the confirmed cases reside in Saudi Arabia (including three fatalities) two in Qatar and two in Jordan. Three of the confirmed cases from Saudi Arabia are from the same family household and there is also a fourth probable case.
The second cluster with two confirmed cases (both fatal) has been retrospectively identified among eleven persons who became ill with acute respiratory disease in Jordan already in April 2012.
Two of the cases were diagnosed after being transferred to Europe for further medical care.
The reservoir and route of transmission of this virus has not been identified but all cases were reported from the Arabian Peninsula. The detection of two clusters could indicate limited person-to-person transmission or exposure to a common source. However, only careful investigation can help to distinguish between those two.For the record, here is an ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report, dated May 3, on a "Severe respiratory disease of unknown origin - Jordan - Outbreak in ICU." The original report was on April 26. The full text of the May 3 update:
An outbreak of a respiratory illness was reported on 19 April 2012 by the Ministry of Health in Jordan in an intensive care unit in a hospital in Zarqa. Seven nurses and one doctor were among the 11 affected. One of the nurses died. The cause of this outbreak remains unknown to date.
Update of the week
No additional cases detected this week.