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Outbreak investigation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) Cases, in a Household Cluster in Najran province, May 2018


On 6 June 2018, Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) was requested to investigate a cluster of confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS CoV) cases that came from Najran city in the southern province to Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Riyadh city. The mission aimed to investigate the cluster, identify the source of infection and mode of transmission in this cluster, and help in controlling it.


Investigation of cases based on reviewing patients' charts and available data of the cases in the public health department and Corona center. Meetings with health directors and concerned officials were held. This study was a descriptive study for all positive MERS CoV cases reported at King Khalid Hospital in Najran city in southern province region and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Riyadh city during May 2018.


A total of 12 cases of MERS-COV were identified as 2 cases in the southern province and 10 cases in the central province. All 12 cases were laboratory confirmed MERS CoV cases (100%) during May 2018; 1 healthcare worker and 11 patients. General case fatality rate in this outbreak was (0%). All cases were recovered despite that 4 cases had a critical situation and stayed in ICU for a while, but eventually, they discharged in good condition.


This cluster consists of 1 primary case and 11 secondary cases. Out of 12 cases, 11 cases were relatives. There was evidence of person-to-person transmission between the relatives and the primary case due to close contact with him especially when they were visiting him in the hospital. A health care worker had contact with the primary case and secondary cases. There was evidence of contacting with dromedary camels as 10 of the cases living in a farm that contain a compound of 10 residential houses which open to a stockyard where they rise camels.