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New cases of Mideast respiratory virus reported
November 1, 2013, 6:14 am

Saudi Arabia reported three cases, including one death, due to the respiratory coronavirus this week [Xinhua]

Saudi Arabia reported three cases, including one death, due to the respiratory coronavirus this week [Xinhua]

Four new cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Oman and Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.

In Oman, a 68-year-old patient became ill on October 26 and was hospitalised two days later; although it was determined that he did not travel outside the country, there are ongoing investigations to determine how he contracted the virus.

According to the WHO website, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses; different members of this family cause illness in humans and animals. In humans, these illnesses range from the common cold to infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS CoV)”.

In June, WHO reported that local transmission from non-human exposures had occurred in several countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Cases have also been reported by three countries in Europe—France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (UK)—and by Tunisia, in North Africa. All the European and North African cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” WHO said at the time.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia reported that one of its three patients – a woman and two men, one of whom is a healthcare worker –  had died.

In the past 13 months, WHO has reported 63 deaths of 149 confirmed MERS-CoV cases.

Source: Agencies

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