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Friday, November 30, 2012

CIDRAP : WHO cites 7th coronavirus case, gives surveillance guidance

From Robert Roos at CIDRAP, please click the link for more information on patient details : 

A third case in a family cluster of novel coronavirus infections has been confirmed, raising the global case count to seven, and the fourth illness in the family is now listed as a probable case, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

In a statement dated yesterday, the WHO also indicated that only one death has been attributed to the novel virus so far, contradicting a Nov 23 announcement that reported two deaths among the first six cases.

The WHO also offered new surveillance recommendations for the novel virus. The agency called for testing of patients in any cluster of severe, unexplained respiratory infections, regardless of location or travel history, and testing of healthcare workers who suffer unexplained pneumonia after caring for patients with severe respiratory infections.

And in a related development, the Saudi Medical Journal reported that the person who had the third known novel coronavirus case is a 45-year-old gym teacher who visited a farm 3 days before he got sick and who survived his severe illness despite having preexisting health problems and only one kidney.

Update on cases

In reporting on cases 3 through 6 on Nov 23, the WHO said two of the confirmed patients belonged to the same family and household in Saudi Arabia and that two more members of the same family were sick, but their cases had not been confirmed. The latest statement said three of the confirmed case-patients and the person with the probable case all belong to the same family.

The statement did not specify whether the family members are thought to have passed the virus to one another or caught it from another source. "The source of the virus is unknown, as is the mode of transmission," the statement says.

The cases occurred in the Jeddha and Riyadh areas of Saudi Arabia, which are bout 850 kilometers apart, and in Doha, Qatar, the WHO noted.

The new announcement notes only one death from the novel coronavirus so far, a change from last week's statement noting two deaths among the first six cases. The WHO did not respond to a query about this point this afternoon."

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