MERS kills man in Hofuf and infects five others in a week

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in this handout. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 October 2016

MERS kills man in Hofuf and infects five others in a week

RIYADH: With the onset of winter, fresh incidents of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are being recorded in some parts of the Kingdom, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health here on Friday.
During the past seven days, six new cases of MERS, including one death, were reported in the Kingdom.
The death was of a 73-year-old Saudi man in Hofuf who was ailing for some time in hospital, while the other five cases were those of a 53-year-old Saudi man from Abha, a 72-year-old man from Riyadh, an expatriate, 47, from Buraidah, a 73-year-old Saudi man, and an expatriate woman from Hofuf.
According to doctors, the patients in Riyadh and Abha are in critical condition getting treatment in the intensive care unit.
Since July 2012, 1,463 patients were infected in all parts of the Kingdom. This resulted in 612 deaths, 845 recoveries and five patients currently receiving treatment. During the last Islamic year which ended a month ago, there had been a total of 192 people, including 131 men, who were affected by MERS-CoV.
The month of Ramadan witnessed the peak when it recorded 47 patients in one single health facility.
Dr. Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Western Pacific, said continued vigilance for any new cases of MERS-CoV through an early detection and rapid response system in particular, is highly recommended.
Healthcare workers are further advised to practice stringent infection prevention and control measures when treating patients to protect themselves and others. This includes hand washing before and after contact with each patient, and wearing a medical mask, eye protection, gown and gloves when treating probable or confirmed MERS-CoV cases.
According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
MERS affects the respiratory system (lungs and breathing tubes). Most MERS patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. About three to four out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.
Dr. Haleem Siddiqi, a medical practitioner who has been working in the Kingdom for more than a decade, told Arab News that these incidents are post-Haj since domestic pilgrims return home with severe cough and cold. "Those who suffer from chronic diseases are susceptible hosts to this virus,” he noted, adding that the MERS virus is not seasonal.
The virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.


500 visitors from 60 countries visit historic Jeddah

Visitors also attended a folkloric show including “Ardah” traditional dance, oboe and other artistic exhibitions, all performed by an artistic group. (Supplied)
Updated 32 min 48 sec ago

500 visitors from 60 countries visit historic Jeddah

  • Visitors attended a folkloric show including “Ardah” traditional dance

JEDDAH: Five hundred guests from 60 countries today toured the Historic ​​Jeddah area. The guests had already attended the international conference “Sustainable Marine Development Towards 2030 and Beyond” organized this month by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization.

The tour included Umrah in Makkah and a visit to Historic Jeddah in the presence of the Vice President of the PTA Fareed Al-Qahtani and the authority’s employees.

The tour started from “Bab El-Madinah” (the city’s gate) and ended with a visit to “Beit Nassif” (Nassif Mansion), during which the visitors were acquainted with the house’s architecture and interior designs, and dined in the traditional houses to experience the authentic Saudi Hijazi flavor.

Visitors were accompanied by Samir Qumsani, founder and chairman of the Saudi Tour Guides Association, and tour guide Sami Khiari. They were given a full explanation of the history of the city and its various historical epochs, including ancient methods of construction with excavated stones, and “Rawashin” artistic designs that characterize the Hijazi traditional houses in Jeddah.

Visitors also attended a folkloric show including “Ardah” traditional dance, oboe and other artistic exhibitions, all performed by an artistic group.