MERS outbreak continues in Saudi Arabia

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) The World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for Europe confirms 13 new cases of coronavirus infection in the Netherlands, with three cases involving travellers from Saudi Arabia (the…

MERS outbreak continues in Saudi Arabia

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for Europe confirms 13 new cases of coronavirus infection in the Netherlands, with three cases involving travellers from Saudi Arabia (the most high-risk state). The first patient in the outbreak has now died.

Since Saudi Arabia announced two new cases this week, eight other countries have reported cases, according to CNN. The investigation into the French cases is currently underway and France’s health minister has urged countries affected by the virus not to reveal the origin of the suspected infections.

Saudi Arabia suspended a plan to allow a year of freedom for Saudi women following its decision to amend a law limiting men to only four wives. According to French officials, this is the first country in the world to suspend such a scheme.

Queensland continues to isolate an Australian resident infected with MERS. The hospital in Townsville where the infected woman was diagnosed and treated has started to contact the family of her siblings. Four people in the resident’s family have so far tested negative for MERS.

One hospital and its administration were placed under quarantine in Toronto following an MERS outbreak, which has infected 24 people and killed two. Health care workers and hospital staff are among the infected. The patient admitted to the Toronto Hospital is recovering.

Australia has confirmed two new cases of the virus this week, one from a traveller, another a new case diagnosed in Brisbane.

Tel Aviv bans any non-essential travel to places of concern. After learning that a Qatari teenager was infected with MERS and, reportedly, being at risk, authorities there have announced that local flights and other services to and from Qatar are suspended.

The Netherlands has introduced voluntary departures for 41 non-essential people from the three countries most affected, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It is thought that this will protect travelers from additional infection.

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