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MERS-CoV Cluster In France Increases To Four
Recombinomics Commentary 12:45
May 10, 2013

A third case of coronavirus is suspected in the North after infection confirmed a 65 year old man who had stayed in Dubai, announced the Regional Agency for Health. "We have a third suspect this morning, with a nurse Douai, "said Thursday, May 10 Dr. Sandrine Segovia Kueny, Deputy Director General of the LRA, on France Bleu Nord.

The above translation describes a third hospital contact of a confirmed MERS-CoV case in France, who has developed SARS-like symptoms.  Earlier reports described a patient (50M) and a doctor (35F) who were also hospitalized after developing symptoms (see map).

This cluster, which is not yet confirmed, follows reports out of eastern Saudi Arabia which describes two additional confirmed clusters linked to hospitalized patients.  Moreover, WHO has finally released the number of probably cases (11) linked to two confirmed cases who were health care workers in an ICU in Jordan.  WHO noted that 10 of the 13 cases in Jordan were health care workers, and the additional cases were contacts, which included two mild cases.  The additional cases were classified as probable cases because of testing failures.

The spread of MERS-CoV in hospital setting is much like the spread of SARS in 2003.  About 20% of confirmed cases were health care workers and WHO has warned against hospital clusters for the current coronavirus which is beta 2c in contrast to SARS-CoV, which is beta 2b.

Like SARS-CoV in 2003, the first clusters outside of the Middle East are in countries which received cases which had traveled to the epicenter (Saudi Arabia on 2013 and China in 2003). 

These recent cases reinforce the concept that MERS-CoV is one flight away, and more cases in Europe and beyond are expected.

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