Saudis report 10 more MERS cases, 7 deaths

Saturday, May 10, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
May 09, 2014

The springtime spate of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases in Saudi Arabia continued today with a report of 10 more, most of them in young people, and 7 previously reported patients died.

Five of the new cases are in Jeddah and four are in Riyadh, as those two cities continue to be focal points for the virus, according to today’s update from the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH). The other case is in Taif, where single cases were reported each of the last 2 days.

Half of the 10 patients have no symptoms, while four are in stable condition and one is in an intensive care unit, the MOH reported. None of the individuals are described as having preexisting illnesses.

All but one patient, a 62-year-old woman in Jeddah, are in their 20s and 30s, the statement said. Six patients had been exposed to other MERS patients, but, as has been the pattern in recent updates, the ministry didn’t say whether any of them are healthcare workers. The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier this week that about a quarter of the recent cases in Saudi Arabia involved healthcare workers.

The seven people who succumbed to the disease included three in Jeddah, three in Riyadh, and one in Taif, according to the MOH. They ranged in age from 25 to 94 years.

The MOH also reported that five patients who had previously tested positive for MERS-CoV have now tested negative.

With the new illnesses and deaths, Saudi Arabia’s MERS tally climbed to 473 cases and 133 fatalities, for a case-fatality rate of 28.1%.

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