The World Health Organization (WHO) released an update on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections between 18 and 26 October 2014 in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia
Middle East Image/W123 via Wikimedia commons

During this time frame, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia (KSA) notified WHO of 12 additional cases of  MERS-CoV infection, including five deaths.

The dozen cases are from Taif (6), Riyadh (4), Madinah (1) and Skaka (1). The median age of the patients is 54 years old (ranging from 17 to 75 years old). Nine cases (75%) are men and ten (83%) are Saudi nationals. Ten patients (83%) suffer from one or more comorbidities. None of the cases has a history of contact with camels nor of raw camel products consumption; however, two of the patients (17%) live in areas densely populated with camels. In the 14 days that preceded the onset of symptoms, none of the cases performed Umrah/Hajj and only two (17%) travelled out of their cities of residence. Eight patients (67%) came in contact with laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases.

This is just part of the picture in Saudi Arabia as Avian Flu Diary blogger, Mike Coston aptly points out–Since that cutoff date (Oct. 26), we’ve seen 14 additional cases announced out of KSA.

Globally, WHO has been notified of 897 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 325 related deaths.