Monday, April 21, 2014

Saudi MERS Count Jumps Again; Filipino Man Tests Negative

April 21, 2014

MERS Infographic from Saudi MoH
In a month which has seen an alarming jump in MERS infections in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has confirmed thirteen new cases of the deadly virus in the Kingdom, three of which have died.

The Ministry of Health announced that more than a dozen additional cases had been discovered and the victims are from varied regions of the country.

Seven of the latest infections are from the Jeddah area. This region has seen several recent clusters of the virus, prompting the closing of the Emergency Room at King Fahd Hospital last week for disinfection. There are also reports that four doctors resigned after refusing to treat MERS patients.

The Jeddah cases range in age from 23 to 57 years old and include five men and two women. One victim has passed away, one is in the ICU unit, four are listed as 'stable' and one is without symptoms.

No details on the source of the illness is provided, but one of the Jeddah cases reportedly works in the health care field.

Four cases are listed as from Riyadh, including three men and one woman. Three of the victims suffer from chronic medical conditions, two of which are in ICU units, the other is stable.

One Riyadh case reportedly works in the health care sector and is in stable condition.

The last two cases both involve 68 year old men with underlying medical conditions who have passed away. One was from Najran and one was from Medina.

The Saudi Ministry of Health website reports 244 cases of MERS in the country, with 79 deaths. 36 of those infections have been reported in the last five days, raising concerns among health workers and the public.

This and other informative videos are available on MERS symptoms and prevention, produced by the Saudi Health Ministry (Arabic).

Filipino in UAE Cluster Tests Negative
A Filipino man who had been a member of a UAE cluster has tested negative for MERS.

Forty fellow passengers on Flight EY 0424 from the UAE last Tuesday have also tested negative for the virus. The flight carried 415 people, of which 119 have been contacted and 72 tested.

The man and his family had been isolated since he returned from the United Arab Emirates following an outbreak among six paramedics. The man had flown home before the results of a positive screening test were received. They have been released from quarantine following the latest negative result.

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