On Friday, Saudi Arabia health authorities reported 11 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), with ten of the cases reported as “secondary healthcare acquired” from Riyadh.


The new cases involve six healthcare workers and four patients who were all infected in healthcare settings. As Avian Flu Diary reports, 18 cases have been reported in the past 72 hours – most of which are linked to an outbreak at King Khalid Hospital in Riyadh.

The only primary case, which is unrelated to the others, is a 48-year-old Saudi man in Taif and is in stable condition.

Since 2012, Saudi Arabia has reported 1404 MERS cases, in which 593 died (CFR 42 percent).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the clinical spectrum of MERS-CoV infection ranges from no symptoms (asymptomatic) or mild respiratory symptoms to severe acute respiratory disease and death.

A typical presentation of MERS-CoV disease is fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is a common finding, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported. Severe illness can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive care unit. Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS-CoV have died.

Although the majority of human cases of MERS have been attributed to human-to-human infections, camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans.