MERS cases keep rising, but no change in virus seen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
CIDRAP News
Apr 28, 2014

Saudi Arabia reported another 26 MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases over the weekend, and Egypt identified its first case, but the latest sequencing findings showed no mutations that might help explain the virus’s accelerated spread over the past month.

With five deaths among the new cases and five in previously reported cases, Saudi Arabia’s MERS death toll reached 102, while its overall case count jumped to 339. Fifteen of the 26 new cases are in Jeddah, the leading MERS hot spot in the country.

Egyptian case

Egypt’s first case involves a 27-year-old Egyptian civil engineer who lives in Riyadh and was diagnosed Apr 26 after returning to Egypt, according to the Associated Press. He was being treated for pneumonia in a Cairo hospital and was in stable condition, Reuters reported.

Egypt becomes the 15th country to report a MERS case and the latest one outside the Arabian Peninsula. Concern about the virus has been rising in Egypt because of recent evidence of the virus in camels there.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Apr 26 provided some information about seven MERS cases that were reported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) via the media on Apr 25. It said all the patients are currently well.

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