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Welcome to the conversation Forum of Flu Wiki

This is an international website intended to remain accessible to as many people as possible. The opinions expressed here are those of the individual posters who remain solely responsible for the content of their messages.
The use of good judgement during the discussion of controversial issues would be greatly appreciated.

News Reports for December 2, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 16:31:42 PM EST


Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links. Thanks!

Australia
• New South Wales: Bird flu affected farms near Young to begin restocking this month (Link)

China
• Shanghai: Poultry market to shut over bird flu fears (Link)
• Hong Kong confirms first case of H7N9 (Link)
• Hong Kong confirms first human case of bird flu (Link)

Netherlands
• Bird Flu In Groningen (Link)

Qatar
• Health officials allay fears over Mers outbreak (Link)
• Animals in Qatar to be tested for Mers virus soon (Link)
• Nationwide testing of animals for MERS virus to begin soon (Link)

United Arab Emirates
• ProMED: MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (96): UAE (Abu Dhabi), RFI (Link)
• Eight-year old boy diagnosed with MERS in Abu Dhabi (Link)
• Jordanian boy, 8, diagnosed with Mers coronavirus in Abu Dhabi (Link)
• Frankincense and Mers: Jordanian family brings virus to the Emirates (Link)

Research
• ProMED: Avian influenza, human (146): mathematical risk model (Link)
• Scientist develop gilded flu test (Link)

General
• WHO Update: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: Jordan UAE ex-KSA MERS Cluster Raises Concerns (Link)
• AVIAN Flu Diary: UAE - Media Reporting Death Of Mother In Family MERS Cluster (Link)
• Branswell: Baby born by C-section to MERS patient (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 2, 2013

News for December 1, 2013 is here.


Thanks to all of the newshounds!
Special thanks to the newshound volunteers who translate international stories - thanks for keeping us all informed!
Other useful links:

WHO H7N9 web page

WHO A(H1N1) Site
WHO H5N1 human case totals
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
UK RCGP Weekly Data on Communicable and Respiratory Diseases
Flu Wiki

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Jordan UAE ex-KSA MERS Cluster Raises Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

The director of health care at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bassam Hijjawi that the tests conducted by the Public Health Authority in Abu Dhabi proved wounding three Jordanians residing there Corona virus, they are the same family (father, mother and child, 9 years old).
He said in a statement to «opinion» that the wife was hit in multiples of being pregnant and went into a coma as a result of the corona virus that causes respiratory syndrome,

Hijjawi said that contacts revealed that the patients went through Saudi Arabia before traveling to the UAE expected to be infected during their stay in Saudi Arabia

The above comments provide detail for a MERS confirmed cluster in United Arab Emirates (UAE) involving a Jordanian family who traveled through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) prior to hospitalization in Abu Dhabi (Snip).  The two adults were announced by UAE state media and were cited in many reports (Snip), but the reports on the third family member (9M), the status of the wife (in a coma), and travel history (through KSA) are limited two a few local media reports.

The travel through KSA increases concerns that the number of KSA cases is significantly higher than those reported.  This concern began to rise at the end of Ramadan.  Although KSA failed (report or admit?) to any MERS cases in pilgrims performing Umrah in KSA during Ramadan, a traveler (59M) returned to Qatar and was MERS confirmed (as were subsequent contacts in Qatar).   Although the traveler was not performing Umrah, he was infected in Medina, where additional local cases were reported by KSA, but these cases were also not cited as pilgrims.

Similarly KSA failed to report MERS in any pilgrims attending the Hajj, but two pilgrims returned to Madrid, Spain and were MERS confirmed.  The index case (61F) developed symptoms shortly after arriving in Mecca from Medina.  She subsequently sought medical attention in Mecca and was pneumonia confirmed by X-ray, but she refused treatment in KSA and flew to Madrid from Jeddah. A travel companion was also confirmed. But details on the second case were limited, although the recovery of both cases was reported.

The reports of these two pilgrims was followed by a report of MERS in a Jeddah resident (43M), which was followed by reports of MERS confirmation in a symptomatic camel owned by the Jeddah case.  This cluster, like the cluster in Medina following Ramadan raised concerns that these cases were directly or indirectly linked to traveling pilgrims.

(Snip). Oman reported its first confirmed case, who had contact with relatives who had just returned from the Hajj.  Another Omani sought treatment in UAE, where he was MERS confirmed.  Kuwait then reported its first two confirmed cases and at least one had returned from KSA.

The travel through KSA by the Jordanian family hospitalized in UAE raises concerns that the export of MERS from KSA is increasing following the Hajj. http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


ProMED: MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (96): UAE (Abu Dhabi), RFI
The Jordanian MoH issued a press release that had a much more thorough report on MERS-CoV and which indicates there is a 3rd person infected -- the 9-year-old son of the infected husband and pregnant wife (Snip).

In the press release, Dr Hijjawi also mentioned that the male patient has 3 brothers and their wives, constituting about 20 family members, who were all ordered by Abu Dhabi not to travel or return to Jordan for 12 days, and undergo intensive tests to ensure they have not contracted the virus. After 12 days, if there are no symptoms, they can travel.

Dr Hijjawi also contacted the patients' family members in Amman [Jordan], learned more details about the patients' lifestyles, and asked the family members to get in touch with the MoH with any updates.

Hijjawi also said their investigation found that the patients passed through Saudi Arabia before going to the Emirates, predicting (Snip) that that might have been when they contracted the disease.

Dr Hijjawi also assured the press that Jordan still only has 2 cases announced in the past, and there are no new suspected cases.

----------------
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[If these 3 cases (the parents and the 9-year-old child) are officially reported as laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV, they will raise the global tally to 163 laboratory confirmed cases with 68 deaths.

The newswire above suggests that there was a history of travel for this family to Saudi Arabia during the incubation period. As there was travel within the region, the possibility of exposure to the MERS-CoV in either Jordan, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates is present. (Snip). http://www.promedmail.org/

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


ProMED: Avian influenza, human (146): mathematical risk model
In 2011, scientists successfully engineered a lethal avian flu virus to be transmissible between birds as well as mammals and possibly humans. The novel virus, a genetically engineered variation of H5N1 avian influenza, sparked an enormous debate among both the research community and the public about how to manage such research and whether it should even be carried out at all.

That's where Northeastern stepped in. "We thought it was important to provide some hard numbers to the debate," said Alessandro Vespignani, a world-renowned statistical physicist and the Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor.

In a paper released Thursday [28 Nov 2013] in the journal BMC Medicine, Vespignani and his collaborators provide those hard numbers, and they aren't terribly reassuring. "This study provides a very accurate modeling approach to assess the probability of containment in the case of accidental escape," explained Vespignani (Snip). "Unfortunately, there are large chances that the outbreak will not be contained."

Vespignani and his research team used census data from the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to create a computational model that tracked how an experimental virus would spread if it were accidentally released from a facility operating at a biosafety level of 3 or 4. These labs carry out the most health-hazardous biological research in the world and are often located in populous urban areas.

The team, which includes collaborators at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy, looked at the effectiveness of several non-pharmaceutical interventions following a release: isolation of the laboratory; household quarantine of the infected worker; and quarantine of individuals who came into contact with the infected worker. They examined these containment scenarios in the context of different viruses, ranging in transmissibility from a mild seasonal influenza to one similar to the Spanish flu, which killed nearly 5 percent of the world's population in 1918.

The results of the simulation suggest a 5-15 percent chance that an accidental escape would not be detected, especially in the case of very transmissible viruses and those where symptoms are not immediately spotted. In addition, they found that containment would depend on the structure and density of the local population surrounding a facility.

"Most BSL labs are in big urban areas," Vespignani explained. "In those areas, we show that the probability of not containing the outbreak is 3-5 times larger than what it would be in isolated areas."

(Big Snip)

[Byline: Angela Herring]

---------------
(Big Snip)
----------------

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[Mathematical models are only as useful as their ability to be validated and their criteria challenged. Otherwise, they are a training exercise. And we know from problems at Ft. Detrick, College Station, and Pirbright that dangerous pathogens can evade their otherwise effective biosecurity.

Speaking as a professional skeptic, the global experience to date with this group of viruses in a wide variety of institutes has not been one of frequent spills into, for example, just the institutional professional staff, the group at immediate risk. Maybe a better model would be a public health laboratory during the flu season, if one could differentiate laboratory cross infections from familial infections.

It all comes down to laboratory discipline and oversight. We can all recite stories from our individual experience and/or the literature of things going badly wrong. Anyone who has worked with brucella has war stories, believe me. So we need to take the warning from this study seriously, independently of whether "the sky is falling!" - Mod.MHJ] http://www.promedmail.org/

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Netherlands: Bird Flu In Groningen
Bird flu was detected at a poultry farm in the province of Groningen. All 10,000 laying hens on the farm in St. Annen were eliminated. It is probably the mild version, but it can mutate into a more dangerous version. (Snip).

State Secretary Dijksma issued a transportation ban in an area of ​​one kilometer surrounding the holding in St. Annen. The ban applies to poultry, eggs, poultry manure (Snip). There are no other poultry farms within the area. http://www.nltimes.nl/2013/12/...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Map link:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
China: Poultry market to shut over bird flu fears
Shanghai will suspend live poultry trading from January 31, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, until April 30 to prevent a recurrence of the bird flu.

The suspension will be an annual feature for the next five years, dependent on the evaluation and warning of the bird flu and the seasonal onset, according to a joint statement issued by the Shanghai Agricultural Commission and the Shanghai Commerce Commission.

All the designated wholesale and retail markets will be banned from trading in poultry and violators face hefty fines between 10,000 yuan (US$1,641) and 30,000 yuan under a new rule that took effect in June.

Unlicensed street vendors who sell live poultry during the period will be punished by urban management teams.

Poultry from other cities and provinces must be sent to designated slaughterhouses and cannot enter the local market directly, it said.

Continued: http://english.eastday.com/e/1...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Australia: Bird flu affected farms near Young to begin restocking this month (New South Wales)
Some of the chickens destroyed as the result of an avian influenza breakout on a farm near Young, may eventually help regenerate the property. In October, two farms in the district were quarantined after birds on site contracted the H-7 strain of the virus.

The Department of Primary Industries Chief Veterinary Officer, Ian Roth, says both properties remain in 'lock down' and restocking will begin later this month.

Mr Roth says it was a significant outbreak of avian influenza, with around 430 thousand birds destroyed.

"Certainly one of the places, we composted the birds and that's a matter of mixing the dead birds with organic matter and it reaches high temperatures," he said. "The virus is killed by high temperatures and so the birds break down and the virus is destroyed and then it can be spread out on paddocks and it's fine."

Mr Roth says while the virus has been killed, and there have been no further outbreaks, the farms have to be 'locked down' for 21 days.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/201...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Qatar: Health officials allay fears over Mers outbreak
Senior health officials yesterday reassured Qatar residents that there is 'no outbreak of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) in the country following the recent detection of two human cases and three camels infected with the virus on a local farm at Shahaniya.

"The current situation is reassuring because since the virus was first detected here in 2012, a lot of people have come in contacts with camels and other animals but no single case among those reported had had a link to animals," Supreme Council of Health's Communicable Diseases Control section manager Dr Mohamed al-Hajri told a press conference.

The Mers-CoV has claimed four lives in Qatar since 2012 and the virus was also suspected in a total of 4,323 persons, whose samples were checked at the Hamad Medical Corporation's Virology laboratory, explained SCH Surveillance and Outbreak section head Dr Hamad Eid al-Romaihi.

"It was the first time in Qatar that camels were linked to Mers-CoV infections and no new cases have so far been reported because we conducted a comprehensive epidemiological investigation into potential sources of exposure of human cases involved (Snip). He mentioned that the two men, an expatriate and a national, were closely followed throughout their treatment to ensure that they did not infect others.

"People need not panic as it is only established that camels can be a host of the virus that is already identified as an animal disease, but we are yet to verify whether it is being transmitted from humans to animals or from animals to humans," Dr al-Hajri said while recalling that a case linking the disease with bats was diagnosed in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has plans to get kits from international laboratories for testing the animals for the virus. Presently, the tests can only be done in a lab in The Netherlands. Dr al-Romaihi said that the SCH was working with international centres to test additional samples from other animal species and from the environment of the affected barn.

"In addition, the Public Health Department and the Ministry of Environment's Animal Resources Department are conducting further studies at the national level to investigate the infection risk among individuals in close contact with animals," he mentioned.

Continued: http://www.gulf-times.com/qata...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


and why is that reassuring??
I'm not sure why authorities would consider it "reassuring" that they haven't found transmission from those camels to humans - it then means we still don't know where MERS is coming from!

[ Parent ]
Eight-year old boy diagnosed with MERS in Abu Dhabi
http://www.arabianbusiness.com...

By Daniel Shane
Monday, 2 December 2013 11:39 AM


An eight-year old Jordanian boy in Abu Dhabi has been diagnosed with the MERS Coronavirus, authorities in the UAE capital said.


A statement to official news agency WAM said that the unnamed child was found to be infected with the virus, which has so far killed nearly 70 people across the Middle East, during a family medical check-up. It said that his father had also recently been diagnosed with the virus.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in its latest MERS update on November 22 that of the 176 laboratory-confirmed and probable reported human cases to date, 69 people have died.

Human cases of MERS, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.
...


Jordanian boy, 8, diagnosed with Mers coronavirus in Abu Dhabi
http://www.thenational.ae/uae/...

The National staff
December 2, 2013 Updated: December 2, 2013 12:14:00

An eight-year-old Jordanian boy has been diagnosed with the Mers coronavirus (Mers-Cov) in Abu Dhabi, the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) announced yesterday.

Local news agency Wam reported that the patient was found to have Mers-Cov during medical check-ups of family members after his father was recently diagnosed with the same virus.

The boy was admitted to hospital yesterday.


Frankincense and Mers: Jordanian family brings virus to the Emirates
http://www.albawaba.com/editor...

Published December 2nd, 2013 - 04:54 GMT via SyndiGate.info

The Public Health Authority in Abu Dhabi on Sunday said an eight-year-old Jordanian child has been diagnosed with MERS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

The case was detected when the authority ran medical tests on close family members of a man who was diagnosed with the disease two days ago.

The child, who showed mild symptoms of the disease, was admitted to hospital.

The child's mother was also hospitalised after she was diagnosed with the virus, health authorities in Abu Dhabi announced earlier.


okay, some headline editor needs sleep...
I swear those editors only look at the words, not the import of an article! :-P  Anyway, this looks to me like two H2H transmissions - is that what others think? Could it be the start of a more easily transmissible mutation? Or perhaps proof that MERS has been circulating in very mild form, and they're not catching it?

[ Parent ]
A bit more news on the cluster
http://afludiary.blogspot.com/

While we expect a DON (Disease Outbreak News) update later today from the World Health Organization on the UAE MERS family cluster first reported on Friday (see Following The UAE MERS Cluster), Gregory Hartl - spokesperson for the WHO, and @WHO have been providing us with an advance look via their respective twitter accounts.

This cluster consists of a 38 year old husband, his 8-months pregnant wife, and 9-year old child.  We now learn that the mother has given birth, and the newborn has tested negative for the virus.  


[ Parent ]
cluster had no known contact with flu...
...worth reading the twitter posts on Avian Flu Diary - Hartl says that the family had no known contact with infected people, any animals or any travel history - not a good sign!

[ Parent ]
Title to the above article:
"UAE: Media Reporting Death Of Mother In Family MERS Cluster" from Avian Flu Diary.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
UAE: Mother of Jordanian boy, 8, diagnosed with Mers coronavirus dies in Abu Dhabi
http://www.thenational.ae/uae/...

(Hat-tip to Avian Flu Diary)

The mother of an eight-year-old Jordanian boy diagnosed with the Mers coronavirus (Mers-Cov) in Abu Dhabi has died, the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) announced on Monday. (continued)


[ Parent ]
Animals in Qatar to be tested for Mers virus soon

http://www.gulf-times.com/qata...

1:09 AM  2 December 2013

By Noimot Olayiwola
Staff Reporter

Qatar's Supreme Council of Health (SCH) and the Ministry of Environment will soon begin a nationwide study and testing of animals, especially those being imported into the country, in a bid to trace the mode of transmission of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (Mers-CoV) which has so far infected nine people in Qatar, causing four deaths.

Since the virus was first discovered in Qatar last year, a total of 4,323 suspected cases have been checked at the Hamad Medical Corporation's virology lab so far, it was announced yesterday.

The proposed study is coming on the heels of the recent discovery of the Mers-CoV in three camels in a herd of 14 and a sheep on a farm in the Shahaniya area from where two people had contracted the virus.

Plans are afoot to acquire kits from international labs for testing the Mers-CoV in laboratories in Qatar for quicker diagnosis and on-time identification of the deadly virus.

Samples of those who tested positive to the virus in Qatar were sent to an international lab in the Netherlands to further confirm and isolate the virus sub-zero types.

It is expected that the study in Qatar will help provide answers to many questions posed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), including how people are becoming infected with the virus and the extent of animal-to-person and person-to-person transmission.
...


Hong Kong confirms first case of H7N9
http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/engli...

[hat tip to H5N1 blog]
Hong Kong has confirmed its first human case of the deadly H7N9 bird flu.

The Health Secretary Ko Wing-man said she is a 36-year-old domestic helper who has a history of travelling to Shenzhen, buying a chicken and slaughtering it to eat. She is in critical condition in Queen Mary Hospital.
[that's all they wrote - hopefully more info coming]


Hong Kong confirms first human case of bird flu
http://www.straitstimes.com/br...

Published on Dec 03, 2013
12:24 AM

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong confirmed its first case of deadly H7N9 bird flu on Monday in a further sign that the virus is continuing to spread beyond mainland China's borders.

...

A 36-year-old Indonesian domestic helper with a history of contact with poultry and travel to Shenzhen in mainland China just north of Hong Kong has been confirmed infected by H7N9 and has been hospitalised in critical condition, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man told reporters late on Monday.


[ Parent ]
More information on H7N9 case in Hong Kong
(Hat-tip to Avian Flu Diary)

http://www.news.gov.hk/en/cate...

The patient was in Shenzhen last month, and had been in contact with poultry there.

She fell ill on November 21 and was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on November 27. She was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital on November 30. Her close contacts have minor symptoms and are being isolated in Princess Margaret Hospital. (continued)


[ Parent ]
Nationwide testing of animals for MERS virus to begin soon
http://www.justhere.qa/2013/12...

   JustHere Qatar  On December 2, 2013

Following the positive test of Mers-CoV in three camels and a sheep on a farm at Al Shahaniya, the Supreme Council of Health and the Ministry of Environment will conduct a nationwide study and testing of animals, the Gulf Times has reported. Stringent measures will also be carried out for testing animals and birds imported into the country.

The detection of the virus in the animals was linked to the two confirmed human infections reported in October. Both men were employees in the same farm. However, when those in contact with the two confirmed human cases, as well as the other employees in the barn were screened, the laboratory tests for MERS-CoV were negative.

With the nation-wide study, researchers will be able to better understand the mode of transmission between animal-to-person and person-to person.


Scientist develop gilded flu test
http://www.justhere.qa/2013/12...

[Interesting!]

Prof David Russell from UEA (L) and Prof Rob Field from JIC (R)

Researchers on the Norwich Research Park have patented a quick, simple dipstick flu test using sugar labelled with gold.

Quick diagnosis of flu is important because vaccination and antiviral drugs need to be administered to patients within 48 hours of infection to prevent new pandemics arising.

"We are now looking for a diagnostics company to help us bring it to market," said Professor Rob Field from the John Innes Centre.

He and Professor David Russell from the University of East Anglia found that a gold solution changes colour in the presence of the flu virus. And the colour it changes to differs according to the strain of flu.

Results published in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry show that gold nanoparticles can be used to detect the human influenza virus X31 (H3N2) within 30 minutes and to distinguish between human and avian influenza.

Prof Field explains that 90% of human infections use carbohydrate recognition to bind with targets in the body. The sensor is a suspension of sugars tagged with gold particles. If the flu virus is present, it will attach to a sugar, pulling particles closer together. Human and avian flu have a preference for different sugar chains resulting in a colour change visible to the naked eye.

"The same basic principles can be applied wherever rapid detection is required from detecting superbugs in hospitals to biohazards such as ricin," said Professor Field.
...


Correct link to the above article:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
WHO Update: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update
http://www.who.int/csr/don/201...

Disease outbreak news

2 December 2013 - On 1 December 2013 WHO was informed of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates

The three cases belong to a family in Abu Dhabi - a mother (32 years old), father (38 years old) and son (8 years old). The earliest onset of illness was 15 November 2013. Both the mother and father are in a critical condition in hospital. They had no travel history, no contact with a known confirmed case and no history of contact with animals. While hospitalized, the mother gave birth to a newborn child. The 8 year old son, who has mild respiratory symptoms, was detected from epidemiological investigation of family contacts, and is being kept in hospital isolation. Further investigations into close contacts of the family, the newborn baby, and healthcare workers are on-going.

Additionally, two previously laboratory-confirmed cases from Qatar died on 19 and 29 November 2013.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 163 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 70 deaths.

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

Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations.

Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with shock. It is possible that severely immunocompromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms.

Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors.
...


WHO Update: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update
http://www.who.int/csr/don/201...

Disease outbreak news

2 December 2013 - On 1 December 2013 WHO was informed of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates

The three cases belong to a family in Abu Dhabi - a mother (32 years old), father (38 years old) and son (8 years old). The earliest onset of illness was 15 November 2013. Both the mother and father are in a critical condition in hospital. They had no travel history, no contact with a known confirmed case and no history of contact with animals. While hospitalized, the mother gave birth to a newborn child. The 8 year old son, who has mild respiratory symptoms, was detected from epidemiological investigation of family contacts, and is being kept in hospital isolation. Further investigations into close contacts of the family, the newborn baby, and healthcare workers are on-going.

Additionally, two previously laboratory-confirmed cases from Qatar died on 19 and 29 November 2013.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 163 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 70 deaths.

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

Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations.

Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with shock. It is possible that severely immunocompromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms.

Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors.
...


Branswell tweet:
https://twitter.com/HelenBrans...

Helen Branswell ‏@HelenBranswell 1h

So-called Emergency Committee advising @WHO on #MERS meets again Dec. 4. They wanted to meet again after the Hajj. This will be 4th meeting.


Branswell: Baby born by C-section to MERS patient
http://metronews.ca/news/world...

December 2, 2013 Updated: December 2, 2013 | 11:24 am

By Helen Branswell The Canadian Press

The World Health Organization says a man, his pregnant wife and their eight-year-old son have tested positive for MERS in the United Arab Emirates.

The woman, who was eight months pregnant, gave birth by emergency C-section
.

The WHO says the infant is a boy and is doing well.

This is the first known case of a pregnant woman contracting MERS.

The woman and her husband are both in critical condition in hospital; the eight-year old son appears to have a milder case of the infection.

The WHO also announced today that the experts who advise it on MERS, the so-called emergency committee, will meet again this Wednesday.

Dr. Theresa Tam of the Public Health Agency of Canada is a member of the emergency committee.

The group, which has met three times previously, wanted to reconvene after the annual Hajj to assess the state of the outbreak.

...

The latest cases are members of a large extended family from Jordan who were residents of the UAE. News reports from Abu Dhabi said the couple had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia, suggesting UAE health officials have speculated they may have been infected there.

But the WHO says it was not informed of any recent travel by the couple. As well, it says the family had no recent contact with animals.


[ Parent ]
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