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Rash of MERS cases in Saudi Arabia continues

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    Posted: September 23 2014 at 6:29am

Rash of MERS cases in Saudi Arabia continues

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two new cases of MERS-CoV today and over the weekend, continuing a rash of illnesses that broke a summer lull, plus one more death in a previously reported case.

The case announced today is in a 37-year-old male healthcare worker from the city of Taif, the site of three cases since Sep 17. The man, who is hospitalized, had no preexisting disease and no animal exposure.

The new case confirmed yesterday was in Riyadh; no further details were given.

The death, announced Sep 20, was in a 27-year-old man in Taif. He had a preexisting disease but was not a healthcare worker. It is not clear whether his was one of the recently reported cases in the city.

These latest reports bring the number of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases in Saudi Arabia since June 2012 to 751 and the death toll to 317. There are currently 10 active cases being followed; 317 patients have recovered.

Recent MERS-CoV cases in Saudi Arabia are of special concern because of the upcoming (early October) Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which brings hundreds of thousands of people to the country.
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