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Saudi Arabia reports 5 more MERS cases

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    Posted: February 25 2015 at 7:48am
Saudi Arabia reports 5 more MERS cases

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News

Feb 24, 2015

Saudi Arabia reported five more MERS cases today, four of them in Riyadh, while a media report said the government is warning it will close clinics and hospitals that hide MERS cases or violate prevention guidelines.

In addition, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in an updated MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) risk assessment that about a third of the recent cases in Saudi Arabia may be healthcare-related. The agency also likened the recent surge of cases to what happened in the country early in 2014.

Profile of new cases

Of the five new cases, all the patients are Saudis and have preexisting conditions, and none are healthcare workers, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The four patients in Riyadh are all in critical condition. They are three men, ages 75, 83, and 80, and a 24-year-old woman. None of them have a history of exposure to animal or to MERS patients in the community, but possible exposure to other patients in healthcare settings is under investigation for three of them.

The fifth patient is a 35-year-old man in Hofuf who is in stable condition. He was exposed to MERS patients in a healthcare setting, the MOH said.

The five cases raise the total reported by the MOH in February to 67. The agency has also reported 24 MERS deaths this month. The MOH's cumulative MERS count has reached 912 cases, including 388 deaths and 26 active cases.
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