Three more cases of individuals infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) bringing the total number of confirmed cases to nine, according to a WHO Global Alert and Response Nov. 30.
The latest three cases, which were all fatal, occurred in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
According to the notice, the latest confirmed case from Saudi Arabia occurred in October 2012 and reported to the WHO Wednesday.The case is from the family cluster of the two cases confirmed last week.
In addition to the Saudi case, two cases from Jordan were reported to the WHO today. They occurred in April when Jordan was experiencing number of severe pneumonia cases. The Jordanian Ministry of Health sought assistance from the WHO, who in turn sent NAMRU-3 to perform laboratory testing.
At the time of the initial testing, the NAMRU-3 lab testing came up empty for a variety of respiratory virus, including coronaviruses.
The novel coronavirus currently seen in parts of the Middle East was not discovered; therefore, testing was not available.
In October 2012, after the discovery of the novel coronavirus, stored samples were sent by MOH Jordan to NAMRU-3. In November 2012, NAMRU-3 provided laboratory results that confirmed two cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, according to the Global Alert and Response.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals. This novel strain has never previously been detected in humans or animals.
As of today, there has been a total of nine laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus that have been reported to WHO – five cases (including 3 deaths) from Saudi Arabia, two cases from Qatar and two cases (both fatal) from Jordan.
Symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus have been acute, serious respiratory illness, which presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
The two clusters (Saudi Arabia, Jordan) raise the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission or, alternatively, exposure to a common source. Ongoing investigation may or may not be able to distinguish between these possibilities.
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