Lebanon has first MERS case; Saudis report 14 more

Friday, May 9, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
CIDRAP News
May 08, 2014

Editor’s note: This story was revised on May 9 to add Yemen to the list of countries that have had MERS cases.

Lebanon joined the growing list of countries affected by MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) with a report of its first case today, while the onslaught of cases in Saudi Arabia continued with 14 more, along with 5 deaths.

Lebanese Health Minister Wael Abu Faour gave few details in announcing the country’s first case, saying only that it involved a man who improved with treatment in a hospital and has already been released, according to a report in the Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper.

Another Lebanese news service, Naharnet, said health ministry officials reported that the patient is a Lebanese national who recently returned from visiting a Persian Gulf country.

Lebanon becomes the 18th country globally and the eighth Middle Eastern nation to report a MERS case. Other affected countries in the region are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and Egypt.

Outside the Mideast, cases have been reported in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the United States. All the cases have been linked directly or indirectly to the Mideast.

Nine cases in Riyadh
In Saudi Arabia, Riyadh and Jeddah, the two leading MERS hot spots, account for 12 of the 14 new cases, with 9 and 3, respectively, according to today’s statement from the Ministry of Health (MOH). The other two cases are in Taif and Medina.

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