ECDC has published an update of its rapid risk assessment on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously referred to as the novel coronavirus. It focuses on developments since the previous ECDC risk assessment, and provides updated threat assessment and recommendations for Europe.
As of 14 May 2013, 38 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported worldwide, including 20 deaths. All cases remain associated with transmission in the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan. This includes indirect association following secondary person-to-person transmission in the UK and France.
The report of 19 new infections in Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks – including one infection with the novel coronavirus acquired in the United Arab Emirates and later imported to Europe – indicate that there is an ongoing source of infection and risk of transmission to humans in the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan.
The confirmed infection in France of a patient who shared a hospital room with a patient returning from the United Arab Emirates indicates the risk of nosocomial transmission. This is the second nosocomial transmission in Europe. The first one took place when an imported case in the UK visited a relative in the hospital in February 2013.