21 MERS cases cited in Mideast; ECDC expects more in Europe

Saturday, April 26, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
Apr 25, 2014

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a total of 21 more MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases today, while the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) predicted that more exported cases are likely to crop up in Europe.

In addition, in the first word of any genetic sequencing results for recent MERS-CoV isolates, a news report in Science said that preliminary findings from analysis of one viral protein yielded no evidence of mutations. The recent spurt of cases in the Middle East has triggered much speculation about changes in the virus, among other possible causes.

Latest cases
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 14 new MERS cases today, with 4 deaths. Seven cases are in Jeddah, site of a healthcare-related outbreak, while four are in Riyadh and three are in Mecca, according to a computer translation of the statement, posted on Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease blog.

Four of the new case-patients are asymptomatic, four are in stable condition, and two are in intensive care units, the MOH said. Among the patients are four healthcare workers, all nurses, three from the Philippines and one from India.

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