Monday, November 18, 2013

Four MERS Infections in Kuwait This Week

November 18, 2013

MERS corona virus.
Image from niaad.nih.gov
Two more laboratory confirmed cases of MERS have been reported in Kuwait. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both are in critical condition.

This brings the total confirmed infections in Kuwait to four. The first two cases in the gulf state were reported earlier this week.

The most recent infections involve a 47 year old man who became ill on October 30 and was hospitalized on November 7. The second is a 52 year old man with pre-existing medical conditions. He became ill on November 7 and was hospitalized on the 10th.

Researchers have estimated that for every reported case of MERS, there may be five to ten unreported and the virus has reached epidemic levels.

According to Medical News Today, an epidemic is "when the number of people who become infected rises well beyond what is expected within a country or a part of a country."

"A pandemic covers a much wider geographical area, often worldwide. A pandemic also infects many more people than an epidemic. An epidemic is specific to one city, region or country, while a pandemic goes much further than national borders."

WHO has confirmed 157 cases world wide, including 66 deaths. They continue to advise vigilance by health care workers and emphasize the importance of infection control measures in suspected cases. But no special screening at entry points has been recommended and no trade or travel restrictions are in place.


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