Thursday, January 9, 2014

WHO Confirms Second Omani Death From MERS

MERS virus (image from the CDC)
The World Health Organization has confirmed the death of a previously reported Omani man on December 30 was due to the MERS virus.

This brings the total laboratory confirmed cases of MERS infections which are recognized by WHO to 178, which includes 75 deaths.

The man began to experience symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath on December 20 and was admitted to the hospital on December 24 in the Governorate of North Batinha in the Sultanate of Oman.

His symptoms worsened on December 28 and he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He passed away two days later.

The man, who was a heavy smoker, had been exposed to camels and farm animals daily and participated in camel race events.

Most of the confirmed MERS infections have originated in Saudi Arabia, accounting for 141 cases and 57 deaths, according to the Saudi Minister of Health website.

That means that currently 79% of cases have originated in KSA and 76% of the deaths. As infections continue to mount in other countries, especially the UAE and Qatar, those totals are down slightly from early November, 2013* when Saudi Arabia was the source of 84% of both infections and deaths from the virus.


*November 6, 2013: 84% cases (126/150)  / 84% fatalities  (54/64)
  January 9, 2014:   79% cases (141/178) / 76% fatalities (57/75)

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