Saudi records 11 cases of MERS virus in Jeddah

Source: Reuters - Wed, 9 Apr 2014 07:50 GMT
Author: Reuters
A man wearing a surgical mask walks near a hospital in Khobar city in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

ABU DHABI, April 9 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had recorded 11 cases infected with the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in Jeddah, including hospital staff.

Two of the patients died, six have recovered, while three are undergoing treatment, the official Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the Jeddah health authority.

The emergency department of King Fahd hospital in Jeddah was closed for disinfection after one health worker there tested positive for the virus and subsequent tests on other staff members showed further infections.

Some patients were transferred to other hospitals while the disinfection was carried out, the health authority said.

A nurse at King Abdel Aziz hospital had earlier tested positive for the virus but no other workers in that hospital were infected.

The health authority assured the public that no other hospitals in Jeddah had recorded any cases and denied rumours that more than two deaths had occurred.

MERS emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and is from the same family as the SARS virus. It can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.

Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping scientists and public health officials on alert.

Cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Tunisia as well as in several countries in Europe, and scientists are increasingly focused on a link between the human infections and camels as a possible "animal reservoir" of the virus. (Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Alison Williams)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus