Saudi Arabia



Will the love affair continue?


Saudi Arabia warns of MERS risk from camels as cases rise

Saudi Arabia said people handling camels should wear masks and gloves to prevent spreading Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), issuing such a warning for the first time as cases of the potentially fatal virus neared 500 in the kingdom.

Health experts say camels are the most likely animal source of infection for the disease, which the Saudi Health Ministry said on Sunday three more people had caught and four had died from.

First reported two years ago in Saudi Arabia, MERS is a coronavirus like SARS, which originated in animals and killed around 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China in 2002. There is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment against it.

Around a third of the 483 diagnosed with MERS in Saudi Arabia have died.

Saudi Arabia is still the focal point of the outbreak, although cases have been reported in other Middle Eastern countries, in Europe and in the United States, which had its first confirmed case last month.

The link between human cases and camels – which have a special place in Saudi society – is the subject of extensive study among scientists abroad. But it has been relatively absent from much of the official domestic debate.

More here.

5 Responses

  1. Note how the local press is reporting the Orlando case:

    Second US MERS Case Found in Orlando

    May 12th, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando- Florida health officials say there’s no broad risk from a MERS case discovered in Orlando. It’s the second confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome- or MERS co-V- in the United states.
    A 44 year old man is recovering at Dr. P. Phillips hospital from the respiratory illness.
    The patient, who is a Saudi Arabian healthcare worker, flew into Orlando May 1st to visit family.
    He was admitted to hospital May 9th with a fever, chills and a slight cough
    State surgeon general John Armstrong says the man didn’t visit any theme parks, and there’s no broad risk to the public– but the patient has been placed in isolation.

    “The Florida Department of Health has been working very closely with this hospital and is particularly mindful of healthcare workers who might have been exposed and we’re following standard infection protocols,” says Armstrong.

    Local health department officials say the man is doing well and expected to recover.
    Out of 538 worldwide cases of MERS Co V, 145 people have died.
    Most of the cases are in Saudi Arabia, and about one fifth are health care workers.

    CDC mindful . . . 20% of MERS deaths are health care workers.

  2. MERS FAQ’s

    ORLANDO, Fla. (KRMG) — SARS scared the world in 2003 when 8,000 people were infected with the bug and 800 died.
    That’s a 10% fatality rate.
    Fast forward to 2013 and the fear is back and bigger but this time with the MERS virus.
    So far there have only been 64 cases of MERS worldwide but 38 people have died, a fatality rate of 59%.
    The virus affects the respiratory system and starts much like SARS with a mild cough and fever but quickly progressing to pneumonia.
    MERS is currently mostly confined to the Middle East and infections are limited but doctors worry that there are many cases not yet identified.
    One big problem with MERS is how fast it transfers from human to human and how it has quickly moved from hospital to hospital.


    The above linked article posts a closing statement which begs the question(s),

    1) “Why aren’t medical workers involved in MERS cases quarantined for a sufficient period after contact with MERS related enviornments?”

    2) It takes a certain degree of incompetence to allow anyone confirmed to have been in contact with MERS related environments to travel – local, national, continental, transcontinental modes of public transport.

    INSANITY! or worse, intentional allowing MERS to spread infection globally.

  3. Health officials now must track down fellow travelers who were around the newest case, and this time it will be more challenging: There were more flights involved.
    He traveled on May 1 on flights
    from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
    first to London,
    then to Boston,
    then to Atlanta,
    and finally to Orlando.
    He went to a hospital on May 8 and was placed in isolation. . . As early as the first flight, the latest case was suffering fever, chills and a slight cough

  4. Man who died on flight suffered heart attack
    KUALA LUMPUR: The 64-year-old Indonesian man who died during an AirAsia X flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur had suffered a heart attack, the Health Ministry said.

    The ministry’s director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the man had not died because of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    “Based on information gathered, the man experienced fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and loss of appetite in Mecca for a few days.

    “The man had sought treatment at a clinic there,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement here yesterday.

    He said during the flight from Jeddah, the man experienced difficulty in breathing and died.

    His body was sent to the Serdang Hospital for a post-mortem.

    “Since the man was returning from performing the umrah (in Mecca), samples were taken to screen for MERS-CoV and they returned negative,” added Dr Noor Hisham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.