WHO confirms 5 MERS cases, raising count to 144

Friday, October 25, 2013
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
Oct 24, 2013

The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed five more Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases in Saudi Arabia, including two deaths, with three of them dating back to Sep 18.

Also today, Arab News reported the death of a 54-year-old MERS patient in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf Coast. It was not clear if the man was one of the patients included in today’s WHO update.

The WHO confirmations raise the agency’s MERS-CoV tally to 144 cases with 62 deaths.

The agency offered few details on the cases, in keeping with previous statements reflecting sparse information from the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH). It said the patients ranged from 35 to 83 years old and included four men and one woman. Two are from Medina and three from Riyadh.

Four of the patients had underlying medical conditions, the WHO reported. Two of them reported having no contact with other confirmed case-patients or with animals before they got sick.

Today’s Arab News story said the 54-year-old man who died was one of the case-patients reported by the MOH late last week. The MOH reported MERS-CoV in a 73-year-old man and a 54-year-old man, both from the Riyadh region and both with chronic diseases.

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