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Saudi Arabia confirms 4 MERS cases, 2 deaths

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    Posted: October 27 2015 at 6:33am
Saudi Arabia confirms 4 MERS cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reported 4 new MERS-CoV cases in the past 3 days, 2 in a growing cluster in Hofuf and 1 fatal, while also noting the death of a previously reported patient.

The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases on Oct 24, in Riyadh and Al-Kharj, and two today, both in Hofuf, which appears to be combating a healthcare-related cluster.

Fatal infection in Al-Kharj

The Riyadh case involves a 60-year-old Saudi woman in critical condition. Her source of infection is listed as "primary," meaning she did not have contact with another MERS patient and is not likely linked to a recent cluster among possibly eight female foreign janitors who share a compound.

The MOH did not specify any risk factors such as recent contact with camels.

The Al-Kharj case, in a 45-year-old foreign man, proved fatal. His infection is also listed as primary, and he had preexisting disease. Neither of the two patients were health workers.

Hofuf cases healthcare-related

The Hofuf cases reported today involve a 38-year-old female expatriate healthcare worker and a 61-year-old Saudi man who is not a health worker. Both had been exposed to other MERS patients in healthcare settings, and both are hospitalized in stable condition.

The MOH also noted today that a 75-year-old MERS patient in Hofuf has died. He is not a health worker but had preexisting disease. His case could well be one reported by the MOH on Oct 22 that involved contact with a MERS patient in a hospital. The man at that time was reportedly in stable condition.

Hofuf has now had five MERS cases since Oct 19, three of which are linked to other hospitalized patients.

The new developments bring the number of cases in the country to 1,269, and MERS-related deaths have now risen to 541, or 43% of the total. Sixteen patients are still being treated.
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