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Buraidah MERS outbreak over: WHO   

Saudi Gazette - 15 February, 2017

The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported three new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases over the weekend and two deaths, while the World Health Organization (WHO) released details on 17 cases of MERS, noting that a small healthcare-associated outbreak in Buraidah was officially over.

On Saturday, the MOH said an 80-year-old Saudi man from Al-Asyah was diagnosed as having MERS-CoV illness.

He is in stable condition after presenting with symptoms of the virus. The MOH said that the man had direct contact with camels.

On Monday another patient, a 71-year-old Saudi man from Al-Makhwah, was also diagnosed with MERS-CoV after having direct contact with camels.

He is currently in critical condition. Also on Monday, a 53-year-old Saudi man from Khayabar was listed in critical condition.

The source of his infection is listed as primary, meaning he did not contract the disease from another person.

On Friday, the MOH reported the passing of two previously reported MERS-CoV patients: A 59-year-old Saudi man from Turubah and a 60-year-old expatriate man from Makkah.

The newly reported cases raise the country’s MERS total to 1,557 cases, including 648 deaths. Eight patients are still being treated for the disease.

Late last Friday the WHO released details on 17 cases of MERS reported between Jan 10 and Feb 3 in Saudi Arabia. Four of the patients died.

Nine of the 17 cases reported were linked to camel exposure, a known risk factor for contracting the disease.

Camels are reservoirs for the virus, and direct and indirect contact with camels, including drinking raw camel milk, has been implicated in hundreds of the Saudi cases reported since 2012. All but two of the nine cases reported consuming raw camel milk in the weeks prior to infection.
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