Skip to main content

A MERS-CoV outbreak in the Governmental cardiac center in Al-Ahsa, October 2016.


The Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) team was directed to investigate an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Hufuf, October 2016.


The WHO MERS-CoV interview form was used with some modification. The interviews were conducted with some of the cases. For the cases who were severely ill or deceased, data from caregiver and/or medical records were used instead. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory details were collected, which included demographic data, clinical symptoms and signs, co-morbidities, contact with animals and travel history. The FETP team visited Al-Ahsa general directorate for health affairs and hospitals A and B to get information about the outbreak, actions taken by different departments and sectors and the current status of the cases.


A hospital outbreak of 5 MERS-CoV positive cases has been identified (4 symptomatic and 1 asymptomatic). Case Fatality Rate was 40% and the mean age of these cases was 53.4 years ±15.44 SD. Transmission of infection was most probably due to close contact of the healthcare workers and unprotected exposure.


5 MERS-CoV cases were identified including 4 secondary and 2 healthcare workers. The transmission sequence hasn`t been fully elucidated yet. Lack of compliance to infection control measures by HCWs seems to play a major role in transmission. Serological test instead of PCR is recommended in mass screening applied by the IPC hospital departments.