Saudi Arabia: MERS returns with camels

Saudi Arabia: MERS returns with camels

13th Nov 2017

12 new cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been reported in Saudi Arabia over the past two months, the World Health Organisation has revealed, with two people dying as a result of the condition.


MERS-CoV is a virus that the World Health Organisation is keen to control and, eventually, eradicate, with rates remaining relatively low when compared with recent history. The condition, which is believed to be spread by camels, was initially identified as a serious threat to public health five years ago. Research therefore remains in place to try and uncover a cure, with an estimated 36% of patients dying because of the condition.


Symptoms range from a fever like cough and lack of breath, to sickness, diarrhoea and, in cases where patients often have more serious underlying health issues, these can often be far more severe.


The cases reported since September are from six separate regions of the Kingdom - Buraidah, Bisha, Tabuk, Riyadh, Hofuf and Ta’if - whilst just one female is involved.


Ages are also diverse, with the youngest being a 25 year old from Riyadh, and the oldest being two 77 year olds from Riyadh and Buraidah.


In response the WHO is working with the Saudi Ministry of Health to check on the health of medics, healthcare workers and household contacts of the known MERS patients, in an attempt to avvoid any further spread.


Whilst many countries in the Gulf have been hit by the drop in the oil price, Saudi Arabia has remained home to a secure economy. The healthcare market especially is one which has grown in recent years, and with plenty of assistance from the Government it looks to have a big future.


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