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Jordan Fatal Novel Beta Coronavirus Cluster Confirms H2H
Recombinomics Commentary 19:00
November 30, 2012

In addition to the fatal case of novel coronavirus in Saudi Arabia reported to WHO on 28 November, two fatal cases in Jordan have been reported to WHO today, bringing the total of laboratory-confirmed cases to nine.

The two cases from Jordan occurred in April 2012. At that time, a number of severe pneumonia cases occurred in the country and the Ministry of Health (MOH) Jordan promptly requested a WHO Collaborating Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (NAMRU – 3) team to immediately assist in the laboratory investigation.

The above comments are from a WHO update confirming two of the pneumonia cases in an ICU ward in Zarqa, Jordan in April, 2012 were due to the novel betacornavirus currently circulating in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  This outbreak involved at least seven nurses and a doctor among the 11 cases cited.  Media reports indicated the actual number was larger than the numbers cited in an ECDC report, which noted the death of one of the nurses.

The failure of NAMRU-3 to detect this outbreak last spring raises concerns, since the pan-coronavirus PCR test has been known since 1999.

The ICU cluster clearly demonstrates that this novel betacoronavirus transmits human to human (H2H) and has striking similarities to the SARS CoV outbreak in 2003.

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