Published — Saturday 18 May 2013
Last update 21 May 2013 6:23 am
JEDDAH: Another case of novel coronavirus infection in the eastern part of the kingdom was confirmed by the Ministry of Health on Saturday.
"One case of coronavirus has been recorded in the Eastern region, and he is now under the medical health care receiving the proper treatment," the MOH said in a brief statement posted on its website.
The new discovery brings to 31 the total number of coronavirus infections in the Kingdom, mostly in the eastern town of Al-Ahsa, since the SARS-like virus first emerged in September 2012.
Known as novel coronavirus, or nCoV, the new virus is from the same family as those that cause common colds and the one that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that emerged in Asia in 2003.
Most of the infections were in Al-Ahsa and a few were reported in Jeddah and Riyadh, said the MOH.
Last week, the MOH and World Health Organization (WHO) said 15 of the nCov victims in Saudi Arabia have died.
WHO said it had been informed of a total of 40 laboratory-confirmed cases worldwide, including 20 deaths.
Other nCoV cases have been reported in Britain, Germany, France, Jordan and Qatar.
On May 14, the MOH confirmed the discovery of two new victis and the WHO later said these were health workers who caught the virus from patients.
“This is the first time health care workers have been diagnosed with (novel coronavirus) infection after exposure to patients,” the Geneva-based UN health agency said in a disease outbreak update.
With the new twist, the WHO said: “Health care facilities that provide care for patients with suspected nCoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients and health care workers,” it said.
It also advised health care providers to be “vigilant among recent travelers returning from areas affected by the virus” who develop severe acute respiratory infections.
The Saudi Health Ministry on Monday announced that it had hired infectious disease specialists from the US and Britain to help local scientists in fighting the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.
The MOH has posted on its website (www.moh.gov.sa) and on social media a number of medical tips and guidelines to the public to raise awareness of the new virus.