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MERS news roundup for the week of May 26 to June 1

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    Posted: June 01 2013 at 10:53am
This article contains no new updates, but sums up all the news on the MERS outbreak for the last week of May:

MERS coronavirus news roundup for the week of May 26 to June 1, 2013

There has been a lot of new information that came out concerning the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak, formerly novel coronavirus (nCoV) during the course of the past week.

Most recently, on May 31, The Italian Health Ministry reported their first case of MERS-CoV in a citizen who recently traveled to Jordan and stayed for 40 days, according to an Italian Health Ministry news release Friday (computer translated).

Italian health officials say he was admitted to a hospital in Tuscany with the symptoms of high fever, cough and signs of respiratory failure. He is currently hospitalized in isolation and is in good condition.

The Italian Health Ministry has reported the first case of  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV ) in the country
The Italian Health Ministry has reported the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV ) in the country
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This case would be the 51st MERS-CoV reported globally.

There was a false alarm that came out of Morocco this week. On Friday, Moroccan health officials debunked an earlier report of a MERS-CoV case in an Emirati man, according to a Morocco World News report yesterday.

“The Ministry of Health assures the public that the foreign man in question was a 67-year-old patient from the United Arab Emirates, who was hospitalized on May 27 in a hospital in Rabat due to mere respiratory issues,” affirmed the ministry in a statement.

A virological investigation at the Pasteur Institute in Morocco, on May 29, has ruled out any claim of a coronavirus infection.

Also on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of an additional case of MERS in a 61-year-old man with underlying medical conditions in Al-Ahsa. In addition, three patients earlier reported from Al-Ahsa have died.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been officially informed of a total of 50 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 30 deaths. This is not including the Italian case.

Keep abreast of the latest "Outbreak News" at The Global Dispatch

On May 29, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated travel notice on their website. The notice gives updated information on the outbreak, how travelers can protect themselves and case definitions and guidance for health care providers.

On May 28, Franch health officials announced the first fatality from the MERS-CoV on the the 65-year-old man became ill on 23 April 2013 after traveling to Dubai, UAE, according to a France Health Ministry news release Tuesday (computer translated).

On the same day, the Saudi Ministry of Health announced five additional confirmed cases of the virus saying, the patients, ages 73 to 85 years, all have underlying chronic health conditions.

On May 27, during an address to the 66th World Health Assembly (WHA), WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan made a statement that certainly caught everyone's attention, including the mainstream media:

“Looking at the overall global situation, my greatest concern right now is the novel coronavirus. We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat. Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control,” Dr Chan said. “These are alarm bells and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world.

Finally, on May 26, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported a fatality in an 81-year-old woman who was identified as part of the ongoing investigation into an outbreak that began in a health care facility since the beginning of April 2013.

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