Saudi Arabia cites 2 MERS cases; WHO confirms 8 earlier ones

Thursday, August 29, 2013
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
Aug 28, 2013

Saudi Arabia today announced two more Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases, one of them fatal, as the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized eight other cases that were reported in the country over the past 10 days.

With the eight recent cases, the WHO raised its MERS-CoV count to 102 cases, including 49 deaths. The WHO did not mention two cases that have been reported in Qatar since Aug 20.

One of the new Saudi cases involves a 55-year-old man in Medina who has chronic renal failure and is receiving intensive care, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said. The fatal case was in a 38-year-old man in Hafar al-Batin who had been suffering from severe pneumonia and respiratory failure, the statement said.

The two cases raised the MOH’s MERS count to 84, including 42 deaths.

The eight cases acknowledged by the WHO include two deaths. The WHO announcement appears to match up with the earlier Saudi announcements of the cases and provides little additional information.

The WHO said the two deaths involved two men from Riyadh, ages 54 and 51, who had preexisting chronic illnesses. The agency described the surviving patients as:

a 50-year-old Riyadh woman with an underlying medical condition who became ill on Aug 1 and is currently hospitalized but is now off mechanical ventilation
a 59-year-old Riyadh woman with underlying medical conditions who became ill on Jul 23 and is in critical condition in an intensive care unit (ICU)
a 50-year-old Riyadh woman with underlying medical conditions who is currently hospitalized in an ICU
a 70-year-old Riyadh man with underlying medical conditions who is hospitalized in an ICU
a 31-year-old Asir man with underlying medical conditions who is hospitalized in an ICU
a 55-year-old Asir man who had contact with a confirmed case and is asymptomatic

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