2 dead, 7 more cases of MERS-CoV confirmed in Saudi Arabia

The World Health Organization was recently contacted by the National IHR Focal Point of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to report seven more cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, which occurred between March 9 and March 10.

A 22-year-old female, a 50-year-old male and a 75-year-old male are still in critical condition in hospital ICUs. Two others, a 26-year-old male and a 62-year-old male, are also a part of the new infections but are stable and either in pressure isolation rooms or at home. Two victims, however, passed away on March 8 and March 9, after both testing positive for MERS-CoV only roughly 24 hours before.

WHO has been notified of more than 1,684 MERS-CoV cases and 600 MERS-CoV-related deaths since September 2012 worldwide and is continually working to contain the infection and stop death rates. Its study of MERS-CoV has maintained that most infections, which occur from human-to-human, appear in health care settings. 

Due to the accessibility of country-to-country travel, WHO predicts that more MERS-CoV infections will appear in the coming years and will be transported from one country to another. Due to the disease's delayed or sometimes lack of symptoms, many will not know they have MERS-CoV until they have left the country. 

WHO is still encouraging all Member States to thoroughly watch for the MERS-CoV infections or anything resembling acute respiratory infections and to note any specific patterns they may take. WHO also asks that health care workers practice the necessary precautions when working with any patients, particularly those presenting signs of an acute respiratory infection. 

The public can protect themselves from the infection by practicing good body and food hygiene and avoiding contact with sick animals. The WHO hopes to keep promoting safe travel between countries.

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