WHO has published Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update. Excerpt:
On 17 April 2014, the Ministries of Health of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported an additional 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The following details were provided to WHO by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia on 17 April 2014:
• The patient is a 54 year-old man with underlying health conditions. He travelled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with a pilgrimage group of 18 people from 15 to 28 March 2014 and became ill on 4 April. He sought treatment in a private clinic in Johor, Malaysia on 7 April and went to a hospital on 9 April. The patient died on 13 April. The patient visited a camel farm on 26 March, during which he consumed camel milk.
This is the first case with MERS-CoV infection in the country. The Ministry of Health reported that so far no human-to-human transmission has been observed amongst close contacts and in health-care facilities in Malaysia.
The following details were provided to WHO by the Ministry of Health, UAE on 17 April 2014:
A cluster of four health-care workers were identified through screening of contacts of a previously laboratory-confirmed case from Abu Dhabi who died on 10 April 2014. These include:
• A 44 year-old man from Abu Dhabi who was screened on 13 April. He had no illness and is reported to have no underlying medical condition.
• A 30 year-old man from Abu Dhabi who was screened on 13 April. He had no illness and is reported to have no underlying medical condition.
• A 34 year-old man from the Philippines who resides in Abu Dhabi. He was screened on 13 April without any illness and is reported not to have any underlying medical condition.
• A 28 year-old man from Abu Dhabi who became ill on 14 April 2014. He is reported to have no underlying medical condition.
All the above mentioned cases are known to have exposure to a previously laboratory-confirmed case. They have no reported history of recent travel and no contact with animals. Three cases are in isolation in a hospital and are in a stable condition. One case returned to his home country although he was advised not to before the laboratory results were received. Screening of other health care contacts and of family members is ongoing.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 243 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 93 deaths.
The mention of the Malaysian man consuming camel milk suggests to me that it's been found (but not reported) in other cases as well, and suspicions are growing about it. WHO's mention of "exposure to poultry" in H7N9 cases might be a parallel here.