- Title: HEALTH-MERS/SAUDI New MERS cases recorded in Saudi capital Riyadh
- Date: 27th August 2015
- Summary: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (FILE) (REUTERS) CAMELS WALKING CAMEL EATING GRASS VARIOUS OF CAMEL OWNERS MILKING ONE CAMEL VARIOUS OF BABY CAMEL DURING FEEDING MAN FILLING FRESH CAMEL MILK MAN DRINKING CAMEL MILK
- Embargoed: 11th September 2015 13:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA3E6M0SVMLZ6O3AAWWELO4OVHH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed 14 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the country, ministry of health officials said.
Speaking at a news conference Dr. Abdulaziz Asseri said there is a surge in MERS cases.
"Fourteen additional cases have been recorded and confirmed, linked to the outbreak at the King Abdul Aziz City National Guard, bringing the total number of cases of this outbreak since more than a month to 71 confirmed cases in our laboratories and there are still 35 cases hospitalized, 19 cases in intensive care unit," he said.
The Saudi government is trying to contain the outbreak with the help of experts from abroad.
"Our visit here is primarily to assist with management and control of MERS coronavirus in any way that we can, and also to work together in partnership, understand more about the virus and its impacts on population and health and work together to understand more about the virus and how could be better controlled and managed," said John Watson, from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, an Atlanta- based organisation.
Doctors believe there is a possible link between livestock and the spread of the MERS.
"It's obvious and we believe that camels are the primary source, we haven't found it other animal so far, so we believe camels are associated and its related to the initial case that started in a hospital then and a hospital outbreak can happen from the very first case," said Dr. Haiel Al-Abdeli from the Directorate for Infection Prevention and Control at the Saudi Health Ministry.
"Of course we can't tolerate a single case in haj (pilgrimage) so this is why we have extra measures to prevent that from happening, this is why we have written a very clear plan and process including the human parts well as the equipment parts. So we have labs, we have all the health care workers trained to deal with any suspected (MERS) corona case and deal with it in the right manner," he added.
MERS, first identified in 2012 and mostly found so far in Saudi Arabia despite outbreaks elsewhere, is a SARS-like disease that causes fever and coughing in some.
Although it does not pass easily between humans, the disease has a high mortality rate, with 480 of the 1,115 people Saudi Arabia has confirmed as having caught MERS since 2012 dying from it.
King Abdulaziz Medical City, a group of hospitals owned by the Saudi Arabian National Guard, has put its emergency and outpatient departments on alert after a surge in cases there, National Guard officials were quoted saying in Arab News daily earlier this month.
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