RRA: Severe respiratory disease associated with MERS-CoV, 4th update; 17 May 2013

Risk assessment

This fourth update of the rapid risk assessment of severe respiratory disease associated with a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was produced in relation to 22 additional cases of laboratory-confirmed infections reported in the last two months. The aim of this updated risk assessment is to review changes since the February update and assess the implications of change on ECDC’s recommendations for EU/EEA countries.

Executive summary

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.