Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WHO Confirms 186 MERS Cases; 81 Deaths

MERS virus (from CDC)
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed two recent cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia today. The pair of infections was announced by the Saudi government on February 20.

The laboratory confirmation concerned a 58 year old year old man from Al-Ahsa who suffered from chronic medical conditions. He became ill on February 2 and admitted to the hospital on February 4. He subsequently recovered and was discharged on February 24. He is reported to have had contact with animals.

MERS was also confirmed in the death of an 81 year old Riyadh woman was admitted to the hospital on February 2 and developed symptoms of the virus on February 5. She passed away three days later. She had reported no contact with animals before her illness.

These latest cases bring the total of laboratory confirmed MERS cases recognized by WHO to 186, including 81 deaths. Saudi Arabia has suffered the most MERS infections, accounting for 151 of the cases and 62 fatalities, according to the Saudi Ministry of Health website.

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