The World Health Organization has announced that another case of MERS-CoV has been diagnosed in Saudi Arabia. This case was identified in the north-central part of the country, in Al-Qassim, and does not appear to be related to the earlier outbreak in the Eastern Province.
What this means is simply not known. WHO and Saudi Public Health authorities are keeping a close eye in monitoring the disease and its occurrence in the Kingdom. While it does not yet seem to be highly contagious, it has a high mortality rate.
23 May 2013 – The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of infection with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The fatal case was reported from Al-Qaseem region in the Central part of the country and is not related to the cluster of cases reported from Al-Ahsa region in the Eastern part of the country. The patient was a 63-year-old man with an underlying medical condition who was admitted to a hospital with acute respiratory distress on 15 May 2013 and died on 20 May 2013. Investigation into contacts of this case is ongoing.
The Saudi authorities are also continuing the investigation into the outbreak that began in a health care facility since the beginning of April 2013 in Al-Ahsa. To date, a total of 22 patients including 10 deaths have been reported from the outbreak.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 44 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 22 deaths.