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MERS-CoV outbreaks continuing in Saudi

RS2944_MERS_420x420.jpgSaudi Arabia is again experiencing an increase in MERS-CoV cases, with three hospitals in Riyadh seeing clustered cases. Since June 1st, 36 cases of MERS-CoV related illness have been reported.

MERS-CoV was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has led to a high number of deaths. According to the latest figures from the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH), 1643 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported in the country since 2012. Of these cases, 674 patients, representing 41% of all cases, have died. Today, 19 patients are infected with MERS-CoV, with the latest fatality occurring on 17th June 2017.

MERS-CoV is easily spread, particularly in the hospital environment, which is one of the reasons why these current outbreaks are continuing and clustered. The primary cluster is centred on one hospital where 23 cases have been reported and attributed to a 47 year old man who was identified as the primary case. A patient who visited the emergency room of the hospital, subsequently visited a second hospital and acted as the primary case for the secondary cluster in this hospital.

The statistics presented by the MoH show the infectivity of MERS-CoV. Since January 2015, 13% of MERS-CoV infections have been acquired by healthcare workers and 27% of infections have been acquired by patients whilst in hospital (i.e. hospital acquired). This means that 40% of MERS-CoV infections in his time period have been acquired whilst in hospital. Twelve percent of MERS-CoV infections are acquired at home – often through transmission between friends and family of an initial host. Forty-five percent of cases are primary cases, often related to contact with camels.

Bioquell hydrogen peroxide vapour has proven efficacy against corona viruses and is able to eliminate the pathogen from the hospital environment. Bioquell’s Pod technology is an ideal solution for providing isolation rooms for potentially infected patients, containing the spread.    

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