Thursday, October 3, 2013

MERS-CoV Clusters in Saudi Arabia

As previously noted, at least seven clusters of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases have occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) [1]. An additional eighth cluster can be inferred from official reports for the city of Medina [2]. Besides Medina, 3 clusters have been reported from Riyadh, and one each from Al Hofuf, Mecca, Asir Province (Bisha?), and Hafar Al-Batin. 

Besides these clusters, in July, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported laboratory confirmation of a female healthcare worker from Hafar Al-Batin  who had contact with a previously confirmed case [3]. The only prior confirmed case from Hafar Al-Batin  was a 16-year-old male who was reported to have died in June [4]. This would constitute another cluster from Hafar Al-Batin.

Since August 1, the KSA  Ministry of Health has reported at least seven individuals from Riyadh who were in contact with previously confirmed cases. Because of the lack of case details it is not possible to ascertain how many clusters of MERS-CoV cases may have occurred since then in Riyadh or are occurring there at this time.

The table below presents information on the location and potential number of cases associated with MERS-CoV clusters in the KSA using cluster numbers assigned by the CDC [5]. The maps shows the general areas where these clusters occurred.

Location of MERS-CoV Clusters in Saudi Arabia

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