Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Six UAE Paramedics Contract MERS; More Infections Linked to Jeddah Hospitals

April 15, 2014

King Fahad Hospital in Jeddah
Health workers continue to suffer the biggest risk of contracting the MERS virus, with a cluster of six paramedics in the UAE and two more health workers exposed to the virus in Jeddah in the latest Saudi cluster, according to the latest CIDRAP report.

The UAE, second only to Saudi Arabia in MERS infections with 27, announced a worker for an ambulance service in the city of Al Ain had died of MERS and five of his co-workers have been infected with the virus.

They are currently in isolation as the ambulance company searches for the source of the outbreak and traces previously transported patients for a possible MERS link.

Jordan has reported it's fifth MERS infection with the announcement of a 52 year old man who had chronic medical conditions and had traveled to Saudi Arabia between March 20 and 29.

He reportedly visited a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia when he became ill on March 25. He visited the hospital again in Amman when he returned to Jordan and was finally admitted when he arrived at the hospital for the third time on April 2. He is currently in stable condition.

Saudi Arabia has reported a new cluster in Jeddah, involving two health care workers and a 45 year old who has passed away.

This latest outbreak follows a week of multiple MERS cases linked to King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah. The Saudi Health Ministry reports 11 confirmed cases while local media is reporting the number is 15, including three doctors and four nurses.

The spike in cases forced the hospital's Emergency Department to close for 24 hours last week for disinfection and officials consider hazard pay for health workers caring for MERS patients.

The grim total of MERS victims in Saudi Arabia has reached 185, including 68 deaths.

The World Health Organization reports 212 laboratory confirmed MERS cases worldwide, including 88 fatalities.

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