Dear col­leagues,

Thank you for sub­scrib­ing to the Asia Pacific Emerg­ing Infec­tions Network’s (AP-EINet’s) bi-weekly infec­tious dis­eases news­briefs. The project which sup­ports the pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of these news­briefs is cur­rently tran­si­tion­ing. The news­brief ser­vice will be tem­porar­ily dis­con­tin­ued until addi­tional fund­ing sources may be located. When new fund­ing become avail­able, we will notify you and ascer­tain your con­tin­ued inter­est in receiv­ing AP-EINet’s news­briefs. Thank you for your inter­est and sup­port in AP-EINet’s work over the years.

AP-EINet team

Global: Saudi Arabia reports 2 more MERS cases

Saudi Ara­bia has con­firmed two more Mid­dle East res­pi­ra­tory syn­drome coro­n­avirus (MERS-CoV) cases, one of them fatal, accord­ing to a trans­lated state­ment from the health min­istry 19 Nov, while media reports said a patient in Qatar has died.

Also, a Saudi health offi­cial said that sequenc­ing of MERS-CoV iso­lates from an ill Saudi camel and its owner may be com­pleted soon.

The Saudi health min­istry said a 73-year-old woman in Riyadh is the lat­est cit­i­zen to die of the ill­ness, accord­ing to a machine trans­la­tion posted on the Avian Flu Diary blog. It said she had sev­eral chronic diseases.

The other new case-patient is a 65-year-old male cit­i­zen from the Jawf region, who also has chronic dis­eases. He was taken to Riyadh for treat­ment in an inten­sive care unit. No other details were pro­vided. Jawf province is in north­ern Saudi Ara­bia and bor­ders Jordan.

The health ministry’s MERS-CoV page cur­rently lists 129 cases and 54 deaths in Saudi Arabia.

The full arti­cle may be accessed at

Nov 19 Avian Flu Diary post with Saudi state­ment on new cases

Nov 19 machine trans­la­tion of KUNA report on Qatar patients

Nov 19 WHO FAQ arti­cle on MERS-CoV

Nov 19 WHO guid­ance on con­tact investigations

(CIDRAP 11/19/2013)

Global: WHO confirms Kuwait’s MERS cases; Spain cites new case

The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) con­firmed the first two Mid­dle East res­pi­ra­tory syn­drome coro­n­avirus (MERS-CoV) cases in Kuwait, while a media report said Spain now has its sec­ond prob­a­ble case in a woman who par­tic­i­pated in the recent Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait’s cases were reported by the media 11 Nov. The first patient is a 47-year-old man who became ill 30 Oct, was hos­pi­tal­ized 7 Nov , and is in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, the WHO said. News reports had said the man has dia­betes and high blood pres­sure, but the WHO did not men­tion those details.

The agency said the sec­ond patient, also in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, is a 52-year-old man who got sick on 7 Nov and was hos­pi­tal­ized 10 Nov. A media report said the man had per­formed the Hajj. The WHO state­ment was silent on that point, but WHO spokesman Gre­gory Hartl indi­cated that one of the men has a his­tory of travel to Saudi Arabia.

The coun­try, site of the major­ity of MERS cases, attracted more than 1.3 mil­lion for­eign vis­i­tors in mid-October for the Hajj pilgrimage.

With the two Kuwait cases, the WHO’s MERS-CoV tally has reached 157 cases with 66 deaths. Kuwait is the sixth coun­try on or near the Ara­bian Penin­sula with con­firmed cases, join­ing Saudi Ara­bia, Jor­dan, Qatar, the United Arab Emi­rates, and Oman. Cases in sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries and Tunisia have all been linked directly or indi­rectly to one of those six nations.

Mean­while, Span­ish offi­cials said a woman who trav­eled to Saudi Ara­bia with Spain’s first prob­a­ble MERS case-patient is believed to have the virus.  Offi­cials said the two women shared sleep­ing quarters.

Spain’s health min­istry said there was not enough evi­dence to deter­mine if one of the women caught the dis­ease from the other or if both caught it from a com­mon source.

The min­istry said both women have recov­ered and have been released from hos­pi­tals. Also, author­i­ties said that so far the two women’s con­tacts, includ­ing air­line pas­sen­gers and con­tacts in Spain, have all tested neg­a­tive for the virus.

Both women tested pos­i­tive for the virus, but their cases are clas­si­fied as prob­a­ble because the WHO case def­i­n­i­tion requires addi­tional testing.

Hartl com­mented that the first case in Spain, reported by Span­ish author­i­ties on 6 Nov, still “has not been con­firmed to WHO stan­dards.” Span­ish offi­cials said the case involved a 61-year-old woman.

The full arti­cle may be accessed at

Nov 18 WHO state­ment

(CIDRAP 11/19/2013)