Via CIDRAP, Lisa Schnirring writes: Riyadh MERS outbreak shows no signs of slowing. Excerpt:
Saudi Arabia today reported seven more MERS-CoV cases, five of them from the Riyadh hot spot, and the World Health Organization (WHO) filled in more details about 15 recent cases in the country, including 11 that are part of a growing hospital outbreak.
Also, the WHO announced that its MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) emergency committee is meeting today for the 10th time since the virus was first detected in 2012.
The committee's meeting comes just weeks before the annual Hajj, which attracts large international crowds of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and its holy sites.
Saudi update hints at Najran cluster
Of the seven new MERS-CoV cases in Saudi Arabia, two are from Najran in the southern part of the country, which has now reported six cases since early August. One of those six involves a foreign healthcare worker, a 64-year-old man who didn't have any known contact with a suspected or confirmed case, according to an Aug 16 MOH update.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) said both of the patients in Najran reported today had contact with a confirmed or suspected MERS case in the community or hospital. The patients are Saudi women ages 50 and 32, and neither are reported to be healthcare workers. Both are hospitalized in stable condition.
Meanwhile, the five new cases in Riyadh are likely linked to a hospital outbreak that has been under way at King Abdulaziz Medical City since at least the middle of July. Four had contact with a confirmed or suspected case, and the exposure is still under review for one of the patients.
Three of the latest Riyadh cases involve male foreign healthcare workers, ages 27, 40, and 53. The three are listed in stable condition, and all had contact with a suspected or confirmed MERS-CoV case. The other patients, both in critical condition, are a 30-year-old Saudi woman and a 16-year-old Saudi boy.
Sixty people are still being treated for their infections, and another 12 are in home isolation. The new cases lift Saudi Arabia's total from the disease to 1,195, with the death total remaining at 510.