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Three more Saudi MERS cases

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    Posted: March 07 2017 at 7:35am
Three new Saudi MERS cases hint at hospital outbreak

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported three new cases of MERS-CoV yesterday and today in Wadi ad-Dawasir in south central Saudi Arabia.

Two patients were identified as having MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) yesterday, a 31-year-old Saudi man in critical condition and a 32-year-old Saudi woman in stable condition. The MOH said the sources of their infections are under review.

Today a 48-year-old Saudi woman is listed in critical condition after presenting with symptoms of MERS-CoV. The MOH said she contacted her illness through a healthcare exposure. The MOH also said today that a 63-year-old Saudi man with preexisting disease has died of MERS in Mahayel-Aseer in the southwest. His case was previously reported.

The new cases bring Saudi Arabia's total since the outbreak began in 2012 to 1,572 MERS cases, including 652 deaths. Fifteen patients are still recovering from the disease.

In related news, a new study in Emerging Infectious Diseases said a robust surveillance program has helped limit the spread of MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia. Researchers from the Saudi MOH and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that from April 2015 to February 2016, Saudi health officials tested 57,363 people who had suspected MERS-CoV infection, and only 384 (0.7%) tested positive.

Saudi Arabia has accounted for more than 80% of the world's MERS cases.
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