31st MERS Coronavirus Fatality Reported in Saudi Arabia

The WHO has also reported laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV originating in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The virus has appeared in France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom as well, but the patients were either transferred there for care, or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill. In France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who have not been to the Middle East but have been in close contact with laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.

A clinical study published in The Lancet last week suggests that MERS-CoV might have a longer incubation period than previously thought, which would mean that longer quarantine periods may be required to rule out infection among patient contacts.

Based on the current situation and available information, the WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns.