By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Since the beginning of the year, 61 total Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases have been reported through October 6, mostly in Saudi Arabia. No new cases have been reported in several months.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
Image/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Of the 61 cases, 57 were reported from Saudi Arabia (nearly half of the cases are from Riyadh), while the remaining cases were seen in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Twenty fatalities have been reported in the Saudi Kingdom.

The vast majority of cases were primary (50), while the remaining are healthcare related. About a third of the primary cases reported contact with camels.

Since 2012, more than 2500 MERS cases have been reported globally, including 935 deaths.

Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported. Some laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection are reported as asymptomatic, meaning that they do not have any clinical symptoms, yet they are positive for MERS-CoV infection following a laboratory test. Most of these asymptomatic cases have been detected following aggressive contact tracing of a laboratory-confirmed case.

Approximately 35% of reported patients with MERS-CoV infection have died.

Although most of human cases of MERS-CoV infections have been attributed to human-to-human infections in health care settings, current scientific evidence suggests that dromedary camels are a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of dromedaries in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.