find possible airborne transmission of MERS-CoV
Scientists studying the possibility that
dromedary camels serve as the potential
animal reservoirs of MERS-CoV, say in research
published in mBio, July 22, that have
found that MERS-CoV RNA fragments
were detected in an air sample collected
from the same barn that sheltered the infected
camel owned by an infected patient
in their previous study.
They say the data indicates that the virus
was circulating in this farm concurrently
with its detection in the camel and in the
patient, which warrants further investigations
for the possible airborne transmission
The researchers warns that while “current MERS-CoV transmission appears to
be limited, we advise minimal contact with
camels, especially for immunocompromised
individuals, and the use of appropriate
health, safety, and infection prevention
and control measures when dealing with
infected patients. Also, detailed clinical
histories of any MERS-CoV cases with epidemiological
and laboratory investigations
carried out for any animal exposure must be
considered to identify any animal source.”
The report can be read here: Detection of
the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
genome in an air sample originating
from a camel barn owned
by an infected patient. mBio
At the time of going to press the latest MERS update from the World Health Organisation
(23 July 2014) states that on 12
July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point
of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported to
WHO an additional laboratory-confirmed
case of infection with Middle East respiratory
syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
This is the fifth case reported in Iran – all
have come from Kerman province.
The patient was a 67-year-old woman
from Kerman Province. The patient had
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
(COPD) and was admitted to a hospital
on 6 June 2014 due to a COPD exacerbation.
The patient was discharged on 14
June 2014 and continued treatment at
home. She was in a stable condition until
she developed severe acute respiratory
symptoms and was readmitted to a hospital
on 25 June 2014. The patient was laboratory-
confirmed with MERS-CoV on 5 July
2014 and died on the same day. The patient
had no history of travel and no
known history of contact with
animals or consumption of
raw camel milk products
in the 14 days
prior to becoming
ill. The patient did not have known contact with
a previously reported MERS-CoV case.
However, during her first hospitalisation,
the patient had close contact with another
patient with severe acute respiratory infection.
Investigation of contacts in the health care
facility and family of the case is ongoing.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia reported 3
deaths among previously reported MERSCoV
And in mid-August Saudi Arabia reported
two new cases of MERS, one of
them fatal, after a month-long lull in reported
cases of MERS.
This brings the total in Saudi Arabia –
as of 14 August – to 723 MERS-CoV cases.
Of those cases, 299 have proved fatal.
The World Health Organization so far has
confirmed 838 MERS-CoV cases and 292
of upload: 16th Sep 2014