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Saudi Arabia reports two more MERS cases

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    Posted: October 09 2014 at 6:13am

Saudi Arabia reports two more MERS cases

Saudi Arabia reported two more MERS-CoV cases today, one of them fatal, extending a string of cases that began in late August after an early-summer hiatus in the virus's spread.

The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a fatal case in a 51-year-old Saudi man in Hofuf who was not a healthcare worker. It said he had a preexisting illness and had been exposed to camels.

The other case involves a 77-year-old Saudi man in Taif, Mecca province, who has a preexisting disease and is in a hospital intensive care unit. He is not a health worker and was not exposed to animals, the MOH said.

His case is the eighth MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) illness reported in Taif since Sep 12. The previous patients included two health workers, whose illnesses were reported on Sep 22 and 28. Taif, a city of half a million, is about 62 miles southeast of Mecca.

The new cases raise Saudi Arabia's MERS tally to 759 cases, including 323 deaths. Nine patients are still under treatment, and 427 have recovered, according to the MOH.

Also today, the World Health Organization's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (WHO EMRO) said no MERS cases have been reported so far in pilgrims participating in the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia. The Hajj is now coming to an end.

In response to a Saudi MOH request, EMRO sent a four-member technical team to Mina, Saudi Arabia, to oversee MERS-CoV–related precautions during the Hajj, according to the EMRO statement.
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