Dutch, Saudi, Jordan reports boost MERS tally

Friday, May 16, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
May 15, 2014

A second MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) case was reported in the Netherlands today, while Saudi Arabia cited three new cases. In addition, scientists said serologic testing has retrospectively confirmed seven more cases in the first known MERS-CoV outbreak, which occurred in Jordan in April 2012.

Also today, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an update that confirmed and added information on 18 recent cases, including 14 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and single cases in the Netherlands, the United States, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Second Dutch case linked to first
The new case in the Netherlands involves a female relative of the country’s first case-patient, a man who fell ill after a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. A computer translation of the statement was posted on Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease blog.

The agency said the woman, like the man, became infected in Saudi Arabia, and she is now in “strict isolation” and stable condition. She and the man shared a hotel room for 2 weeks, and both have underlying conditions, the statement said.

Today’s WHO statement said the first Dutch patient is a 70-year-old Dutch citizen who traveled to Saudi Arabia between Apr 26 and May 10. He first felt ill while in Medina on May 1, and on May 6 he was examined in Mecca.

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