After a lull in new cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia (no new cases since Oct. 1), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported new cases in the capital of Riyadh on Saturday and Sunday.


On Saturday, a case was reported in Riyadh in a 26-year-old female expat who is currently in stable condition. The source of the MERS infection is under investigation.

On Sunday, a 27-year-old female expat became the kingdoms 1,253 MERS case. She is also in stable condition.

Of the country cumulative tally, 539, or 43 percent of cases ended in death.

A full 33 percent of cases reported are classified as health care acquired (HCW).

The World Health Organization (WHO) says infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of MERS-CoV in health care facilities.

It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS-CoV early because like other respiratory infections, the early symptoms of MERS-CoV are non-specific. Therefore, health-care workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis.

Droplet precautions should be added to the standard precautions when providing care to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection; contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection; airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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