13 MERS cases in Oman till Feb end: WHO
Thirteen laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Oman in 2019 till February end. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “At the end of February 2019, a total of 2,374 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS, including 823 associated deaths were reported globally. A majority of these cases were from Saudi Arabia (1,983 cases, including 745 related deaths).” In February, a total of 76 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS were reported globally: 68 from Saudi Arabia with ten associated deaths and eight from Oman with two deaths.
From January 29 to the end of February, a total of 52 laboratory-confirmed cases with seven associated deaths have been reported for this outbreak: one suspected index, three unknown exposures, ten sporadic primary cases, 38 secondary cases (seven household contacts and 31 hospital-acquired cases, including 11 healthcare workers).
“In Oman, four additional secondary cases have been linked to the cluster previously reported in January and a new non-linked cluster of four cases (including one healthcare worker) with two deaths reported as well. The new cluster includes one suspected index case and three secondary cases.” In January, 19 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS were reported globally - 14 from Saudi Arabia with three associated deaths and five cases from Oman with two associated deaths.
“The cluster reported from Oman included five females (age range 30-59) living in the same region. Of these, four were secondary cases, identified through contact tracing of the first case detected on January 24,” WHO added. “Prior to this event, Oman has reported 11 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection to WHO since 2012.”
The demographic and epidemiological characteristics of reported cases, when compared during the same corresponding period of 2013 to 2019, do not show any significant difference or change, except for the increase in the number of secondary cases and healthcare worker cases due to the hospital outbreak this month.
The age group 50-59 years continues to be at highest risk for acquiring infection of primary cases. The age group 30-39 years is most at risk for secondary cases. The number of deaths is higher in the age group 50-59 years for primary cases and 70-79 years for secondary cases.