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Family Cluster of Middle East Coronavirus Infections ID'd
Cases included 70-year-old man, two of his sons, and one grandson; two fatalities within cases

TUESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A family cluster of infections with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) has been described in a brief report published online May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ziad A. Memish, M.D., from the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues describe a family cluster of MERS-CoV infections that occurred in October and November 2012. Cases included three young men who became ill with MERS-CoV infection after hospitalization of an elderly male relative who died of MERS-CoV infection.

The researchers described the case of a 70-year-old man who had been unwell for several days, was admitted to the hospital with cardiac failure, and died on hospital day nine. Within a few weeks, three other patients from the same family were admitted, including two of the index patients' sons (aged 39 and 31) and one of his grandsons (age 16). One of these patients died, while the other two were treated and discharged. No other members of the 28-member extended household had major respiratory symptoms or illness, and 124 health care workers who had contact with these patients remained healthy. The index patient and his two sons had confirmed MERS-CoV, and infection was suspected although not confirmed for the fourth case.

"Although current data indicate that MERS-CoV does not appear to be as readily transmissible among humans, as was observed with the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV epidemic in 2003, continued risk assessment, surveillance, and vigilance by all countries are required," the authors write.

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April 19, 2014

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