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Wed 5 Apr 2017 10:59 AM

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Saudi hospital hit with outbreak of MERS

WHO reports 19 cases in Saudi Arabia and Qatar during February and March

Saudi hospital hit with outbreak of MERS
Saudi medical staff leave the emergency department at a hospital in the center of the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 8, 2014. The health ministry reported four more MERS cases in Jeddah, two of them among health workers, prompting authorities to close the emergency department at the citys King Fahd Hospital. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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