By Sarah Townsend
WHO reports 19 cases in Saudi Arabia and Qatar during February and March
A hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has suffered an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Ten people were reported to have caught the potentially fatal coronavirus thought to be carried by camels.
The outbreak occurred in a haemodialysis unit of a Riyadh hospital, WHO said. There are eight symptomatic and two asymptomatic cases, and none of the patients have died.
WHO reported a total of 18 cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia between 23 February and 16 March, including two deaths.
Four deaths among previously stated MERS cases were also reported, according to WHO’s latest bulletin.
Meanwhile, in Qatar, one additional case of MERS was reported on March 21 – a 62-year-old living in Doha.
Since MERS emerged in September 2012, 1,935 cases have been confirmed globally and there have been at least 690 related deaths.
Most of the known human-to-human transmission has occurred in health care settings, and the WHO urged hospitals and medical workers should take stringent precautions as a standard measure to stop the disease spreading.