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A Cluster of MERS-CoV Infection Among Expatriate Workers in Residential Compound in Riyadh, October 2015


On October 2015, a cluster of Middle East respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection occurred among 850 female workers housed in one relative closed compound in Riyadh. We investigate this cluster to describe and estimate the extent of MERS-CoV infection, to evaluate the risk factors and to Identify the effectiveness of control measures that were taken.


All residents were invited to participate in the study. Self-administered questionnaire filled and interview done for all. Serology blood sample were collected for all participant.


8 confirmed cases identified (Mean age 32.1 years, SD: 10.22). The first case date of onset on October 1st and tested positive for MERS-CoV by PCR on 8th.. The serology results identified 20 MERS-CoV cases, 8 of them identified by PCR earlier. All cases have epidemiologically linked to the first case and each other. Attack rate in the first villa 2A; 38.2%, followed by villa 1B; 5.8%, 1A; 3.7%, 10A; 3.2%, 7A; 2.8% and 5B; 2.5%. The effect of exposure to positive cases on serology results shows a significant difference (P=<0.001). No significant difference found in other risk factors.


This outbreak is occurred in a relatively closed community. A total of 20 MERS-CoV identified. The timely institution of the control measures was sufficient to interrupt transmission of the virus.