Three of nine recently diagnosed MERS-CoV patients in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had contact with camels or camel farms, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed in confirming the cases.
Two WHO statements filled in some details on seven cases in Saudi Arabia and two in the UAE. The cases had been mentioned previously in announcements from the two countries’ health ministries and were reported to the WHO between Jul 3 and 10.
The Saudi cases involved six men and one woman, ranging from 49 to 74 years old. One patient, a 72-year-old man from Arar in Northern Borders province, died, while two are in critical condition and four are in stable condition, the WHO reported.
Aside from camels, no suspected sources of MERS-CoV exposure were mentioned for any of the patients in today’s WHO statement. Camels are considered a likely source of human MERS-CoV infections, but precisely how the virus jumps from camels to humans has not yet been determined.
The cases described by the WHO today raised the agency’s MERS count to 836 cases, with at least 288 deaths.
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