Two Algerian men who were in Saudi Arabia for the performance of Umrah have been confirmed positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to a Ministry of Health and Population press release Saturday (computer translated).
The cases were reported from the provinces (wilayas) of Tlemcen and Tipaza, both in northern Algeria. According to officials, the first man, age 66, developed a fever and respiratory symptoms while in Mecca and was hospitalized upon arrival to Algeria.
The second case is a 59-year-old man, who also developed symptoms (respiratory and gastrointestinal) while in Saudi Arabia. He was also hospitalized upon return. The National Reference Laboratory for the Coronavirus of the Institute Pasteur of Algeria confirmed the presence of the virus.
The investigation is ongoing. Health officials in Algeria say the risk of person-to-person transmission is low, per the World Health Organization. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.