The number of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases reported out of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has spiked since the beginning of the month, with the Ministry of Health reporting two dozen cases in the Saudi capital in the past nine days.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus /National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID

According to an Avian Flu Diary post, a few cases are attributed to possible camel exposure, but most have involved human-to-human transmission – mostly in family clusters, or in healthcare environments.

Since June 2012, Saudi Arabia has reported 1082 MERS cases, including 473 deaths.

The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning MERS cases in the region shows that during the first seven months (Jan. 1 to Jul. 31) of the year, a total of 240 laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including 106 deaths (case–fatality rate: 44.1%) were reported.

More than 93 percent were reported from Saudi Arabia (225), while the remainder were reported from the following countries: United Arab Emirates (7 cases), Qatar (4 cases), Oman (3 cases) and Islamic Republic of Iran (1 case).

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