Coronavirus claims one more life in Al-Ahsa

Updated 12 May 2013
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Coronavirus claims one more life in Al-Ahsa

One of the last three reported victims of coronavirus infection in Al-Ahsa have died, the Ministry of Health said last night.
This brings to six the number of deaths in the eastern town due to the new respiratory virus in the last few days.
On Thursday, the health ministry said in a statement that five people have died and two other patients were in critical condition. It later added that three more cases were discovered, including one in intensive care.
Health officials have called for vigilance to prevent the infection from spreading, but said there is no need to panic.
The ministry said in a statement that it had informed the World Health Organization of the new cases of novel coronavirus.
Al-Ahsa's latest death brings the global death toll to 17. Since September 2012, WHO has been informed of 27 confirmed cases.
Health specialists have said the new germ is from a family of viruses that cause the common cold, as well as SARS — the severe acute respiratory syndrome that killed some 800 people, mostly in Asia, in a 2003 epidemic.
Health experts still aren’t sure how humans are being infected. The new coronavirus, which can cause acute pneumonia and kidney failure, is most closely related to a bat virus and scientists are considering whether bats or other animals like goats or camels are a possible source of infection.
The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and several of the people infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.
WHO says the virus is probably more widespread than just the Middle East and has advised countries to test any people with unexplained pneumonia. In Saudi Arabia last year, four members of the same family fell ill and two died.
The Saudi government is conducting an ongoing investigation into the outbreak.
The seven people who contracted the virus are not from the same family and there is no indication that any of them were in contact with animals or had traveled recently.

(With a report from AP)


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.