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Saudis add 1 to MERS case count

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    Posted: November 14 2014 at 5:58pm
Saudis add 1 to MERS case count, Taif patients bolt from hospital

Another case of MERS-CoV has been reported today by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH), bringing the total cases there since June 2012 to 805, with 17 of those currently active.

The new case-patient is a 58-year-old man in Riyadh. He has not been hospitalized but is in isolation at home in stable condition. He has preexisting disease and a history of animal exposure. He had no reported contact with suspected or confirmed MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) patients.

Of the 805 cases so far, 447 patients have recovered and 342 have died. No new deaths or recoveries were reported by the MOH today.

In other Saudi MERS developments, an Arab News article today reports that "some" MERS-CoV patients have "run away" from King Faisal Hospital in Taif, a city hard hit by the disease in recent weeks. Patients' families have been contacted and encouraged to return the patients to the hospital for treatment.

Professor of Medicine Mohammad Al-Halwani from Al-Baha University is cited in the story as saying the flurry of MERS-CoV cases in Taif can be explained by the current camel-breeding season, during which young camels are prone to contracting the virus. He also said the cold weather conditions, during which people suffer more respiratory infections with coughing and sneezing, encourage spread of the disease through droplets.

In addition, Al-Halwani said medical practitioners may have grown careless around MERS patients, neglecting personal hygiene and thus contracting and spreading the disease.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/11/news-scan-nov-14-2014
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