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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:38 pm 
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niman wrote:
niman wrote:
Information received on 28/11/2013 from Mr Kassem Nasser Al-Qahtani, Director of Dept of Animal resources, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, Department of Animal resources, DOHA, Qatar


Summary

Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 14/10/2013

http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid ... rtid=14454

Note that start date for the outbreak was October 14.

18 OCTOBER 2013 - WHO has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Qatar.

The patient is a 61-year-old man with underlying medical conditions who was admitted to a hospital on 11 October 2013. He is currently hospitalized and is in a stable condition. The patient was tested positive for MERS-CoV infection in Qatar and was confirmed by the reference laboratory of Public Health England yesterday.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the patient had not travelled outside Qatar in the two weeks prior to becoming ill. The patient owns a farm and has had significant contact with the animals, including camels, sheep and hens. Some of the animals in his farm have been tested and were negative for MERS-CoV. Further investigations into the case and the animals in the farm are ongoing.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_10_18/en/index.html

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/11291 ... etail.html

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:45 pm 
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LONDON (AP) -- Health officials say they have found a mysterious respiratory virus in a herd of camels in Qatar linked to two human cases of the disease.

In a statement on Friday, the World Health Organization said Qatari and Dutch scientists found three camels infected with MERS, a respiratory virus related to SARS, in a herd of 14 animals. Two men who both had contact with the camels later fell ill with MERS; both survived.

Scientists have previously found traces of antibodies to viruses similar to MERS in camels but finding MERS in camels connected to human cases has proven elusive. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said it had found MERS in one camel.

Since it was first identified last year, WHO has recorded 160 MERS cases, mostly in the Middle East.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/ ... TE=DEFAULT

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Since April 2012, 160 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 69 deaths, of acute respiratory disease caused by Middle East
respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), have been reported by national health authorities. MERS-CoV is genetically
distinct from the coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak. To date, all cases have either occurred in the Middle East, have
had direct links to a primary case infected in the Middle East, or have returned from the Middle East.
Middle East respiratory syndrome- coronavirus (MERS CoV) - Multistate
Opening date: 24 September 2012 Latest update: 20 November 2013


Between 21 and 28 November 2013, no additional cases were reported.
The Supreme Council of Health in Qatar has announced the first case of MERS-CoV in three camels in a herd, in a barn in
Qatar, which is linked to two confirmed human cases who have since then recovered.



http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publicatio ... v-2013.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:24 pm 
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niman wrote:
Since April 2012, 160 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 69 deaths, of acute respiratory disease caused by Middle East
respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), have been reported by national health authorities. MERS-CoV is genetically
distinct from the coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak. To date, all cases have either occurred in the Middle East, have
had direct links to a primary case infected in the Middle East, or have returned from the Middle East.
Middle East respiratory syndrome- coronavirus (MERS CoV) - Multistate
Opening date: 24 September 2012 Latest update: 20 November 2013


Between 21 and 28 November 2013, no additional cases were reported.
The Supreme Council of Health in Qatar has announced the first case of MERS-CoV in three camels in a herd, in a barn in
Qatar, which is linked to two confirmed human cases who have since then recovered.



http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publicatio ... v-2013.pdf

Epidemiological summary
As of 28 November 2013, 160 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide,
including 69 deaths.
Saudi Arabia has reported 130 symptomatic and asymptomatic cases including 55 deaths; Jordan two fatal cases; United Arab
Emirates six cases, including two deaths; Qatar seven cases, including three deaths; Oman one fatal case and Kuwait two cases.
Twelve cases have been reported from outside the Middle East: in the UK (4), France (2), Tunisia (3), Germany (2) and Italy (1).
In France, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been local transmission among patients who have not been to the Middle
East but have been in close contact with laboratory-confirmed or probable cases. Person-to-person transmission has occurred
both among close contacts and in healthcare facilities. However, with the exception of a possible nosocomial outbreak in Al-Ahsa,
Saudi Arabia, secondary transmission has been limited. Sixteen asymptomatic cases have been reported by Saudi Arabia and two
by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Seven of these cases were healthcare workers.
The previously reported patients in Spain have not yet been confirmed by laboratory testing and are now considered a probable
case.
On 29 November, a government news agency in the UAE reported two new cases of MERS-CoV infection in Abu Dhabi. These
cases are not included in the total case count as they have not yet been acknowledged by WHO.
Web sources: ECDC's latest rapid risk assessment| ECDC novel coronavirus webpage | WHO | WHO MERS updates | WHO travel
health update | WHO Euro MERS updates | CDC MERS | Saudi Arabia MoH | Eurosurveillance article 26 September |Oman MoH |
Spain MoH
ECDC assessment
The continued detection of MERS-CoV cases in the Middle East indicates that there is an ongoing source of infection present in
the region. The source of infection and the mode of transmission have not been identified. There is therefore a continued risk of
cases occurring in Europe associated with travel to the area. Surveillance for cases is essential.
The risk of secondary transmission in the EU remains low and could be reduced further through screening for exposure among
patients presenting with respiratory symptoms and their contacts, and strict implementation of infection prevention and control
measures for patients under investigation.
Actions
The latest update of a rapid risk assessment was published on 7 November 2013.
The first 133 cases are described in EuroSurveillance published on 26 September 2013.
ECDC is closely monitoring the situation in collaboration with WHO and EU Member States.
6

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/11291 ... roMED.html

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:47 pm 
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KAI KUPFERSCHMIDT
Kai is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine based in Berlin, Germany.

New Middle Eastern Virus Found in Camels
2013-11-29 14:30

Signs are increasing that camels are involved in spreading a deadly new virus that surfaced in the Middle East last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that researchers had detected Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in a herd of camels in Qatar linked to two recent human cases. "This is a very important piece of the puzzle," says Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. So far, the virus has sickened 160 people and killed 68.

The finding was part of an investigation into two patients from Qatar who both contracted MERS but survived. Qatari officials took samples from the environment and numerous animals at the farm where the two worked. Researchers in the Netherlands detected MERS coronavirus RNA in nose swabs from three of the 14 camels tested. The scientists confirmed the result by sequencing a fragment of the virus. "Based on the length of the sequence we are absolutely certain that this is MERS," says Marion Koopmans, chief of virology at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, who was involved in the work.

Scientists suspect bats as the ultimate source of the new virus, but human interactions with bats are limited so another animal species may act as a bridge. In August Koopmans and other scientists reported that they had found antibodies against MERS coronavirus in 50 out of 50 camels from Oman. They also tested sheep, goats, and cows but found no antibodies. Whether the camels really were infected with MERS remained unclear, however. Earlier this month Saudi officials announced that a camel owned by a MERS patient had tested positive for MERS as well but they have not presented any sequence data to date.

The result from the Qatari camels does not prove that the virus is transmitted from camels to humans. Infected humans could also have transmitted it to the camels and other animals may also be involved. "We have to be careful about assuming that this is just in camels," says Osterholm. "If camels can be infected then it's very likely that other domestic animals can be infected as well." Virologist Ab Osterhaus who was involved in the work, confirmed to ScienceInsider that other animals including pigeons, chicken, and sheep were being tested as well, but did not want to discuss preliminary findings. Researchers were also trying to piece together the whole viral sequence found in the camel samples, he said.

Even if they succeed and the link to camels is confirmed many questions about the outbreak remain open. It is not clear, for instance, how many of the observed cases are linked to human-to-human transmissions and how many were animal-to-human. Osterholm also points out that many mild cases in humans may be being missed. Saudi Arabia has only been looking for the virus in patients in intensive care, he says. "That is like the drunk looking for his lost keys only under the street light because that is where there is light."

Osterholm praises Qatar for its efforts. "The public health officials in Qatar deserve a great deal of credit for their aggressive actions in investigating this situation and involving the relevant international laboratory partners," he says. "This could have been done in Saudi Arabia months ago."


http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/ ... und-camels?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:37 am 
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Published Date: 2013-11-29 21:26:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (95): animal reservoir, camel, Qatar
Archive Number: 20131129.2082942

MERS-COV - EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (95): ANIMAL RESERVOIR, CAMEL, QATAR
*********************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

[1]
Date: Fri 29 Nov 2013
Source: ScienceInsider [edited]
http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/ ... und-camels


Signs are increasing that camels are involved in spreading a deadly new virus that surfaced in the Middle East last year [2012]. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today [29 Nov 2013] that researchers had detected Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in a herd of camels in Qatar linked to 2 recent human cases. "This is a very important piece of the puzzle," says Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. So far, the virus has sickened 160 people and killed 68.

The finding was part of an investigation into 2 patients from Qatar who both contracted MERS but survived. Qatari officials took samples from the environment and numerous animals at the farm where the 2 worked. Researchers in the Netherlands detected MERS coronavirus RNA in nose swabs from 3 of the 14 camels tested. The scientists confirmed the result by sequencing a fragment of the virus. "Based on the length of the sequence we are absolutely certain that this is MERS," says Marion Koopmans, chief of virology at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, who was involved in the work.

Scientists suspect bats as the ultimate source of the new virus, but human interactions with bats are limited so another animal species may act as a bridge. In August 2013, Koopmans and other scientists reported that they had found antibodies against MERS coronavirus in 50 out of 50 camels from Oman. They also tested sheep, goats, and cows but found no antibodies. Whether the camels really were infected with MERS remained unclear, however. Earlier this month [November 2013] Saudi officials announced that a camel owned by a MERS patient had tested positive for MERS as well but they have not presented any sequence data to date.

The result from the Qatari camels does not prove that the virus is transmitted from camels to humans. Infected humans could also have transmitted it to the camels and other animals may also be involved. "We have to be careful about assuming that this is just in camels," says Osterholm. "If camels can be infected then it's very likely that other domestic animals can be infected as well." Virologist Ab Osterhaus who was involved in the work, confirmed to ScienceInsider that other animals including pigeons, chicken, and sheep were being tested as well, but did not want to discuss preliminary findings. Researchers were also trying to piece together the whole viral sequence found in the camel samples, he said.

Even if they succeed and the link to camels is confirmed many questions about the outbreak remain open. It is not clear, for instance, how many of the observed cases are linked to human-to-human transmissions and how many were animal-to-human. Osterholm also points out that many mild cases in humans may be being missed. Saudi Arabia has only been looking for the virus in patients in intensive care, he says. "That is like the drunk looking for his lost keys only under the street light because that is where there is light."

Osterholm praises Qatar for its efforts. "The public health officials in Qatar deserve a great deal of credit for their aggressive actions in investigating this situation and involving the relevant international laboratory partners," he says.

[Byline: Kai Kupferschmidt]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[2]
Date: Thu 28 Nov 2013
Source: Canada.com, Canadian Press report [edited]
http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=9223359


Health officials in Qatar have announced they have found the MERS coronavirus in 3 camels from a farm where 2 people also contracted the virus.

While scientists are still trying to isolate the full virus from samples taken from the camels, the multiple fragments of RNA recovered are conclusive that the virus is MERS, Marion Koopmans, a Dutch virologist who is leading the laboratory work on the investigation, said in an interview.

"We have definitive proof that it's MERS coronavirus," Koopmans said in an interview from the Netherlands on Thursday [28 Nov 2013].

The viral fragments were isolated from nose swabs taken from the camels, Koopmans said.

But finding infected camels and infected people on the same farm does not prove that the former transmitted the virus to the latter, she said.

It is theoretically possible that the camels contracted the virus from the people ­- 2 men, both of whom survived their brush with MERS. Or some other animal or animals on the farm may have played a role in the transmission dynamic.

"How they (the camels) got it and what the relationship (to humans) is, that still remains open, I think," said Koopmans, who is chief of virology for the National Institute of Public Health for the Netherlands.

She praised the Qatari investigators, saying the work done on the farm was thorough and carefully done, with lots of information and specimens gathered. Scientists in the Netherlands ­- who were asked to help ­- are still testing samples from other animals, and sifting through the information the Qataris gathered. There are only a few laboratories in the world that are equipped to do this type of work.

Koopmans cautioned against jumping to conclusions at this point.

"We have to put everything together carefully and then see what it tells us," she said. "It's still very much an ongoing investigation, so I think we need to really piece the information together."

To date the World Health Organization has confirmed 160 infections with the new virus, which is from the same family as the SARS coronavirus. All of the infections either occurred in, or have links back to, 6 countries in the Middle East: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait.

In the 14 months since the world learned there was a new coronavirus spreading on the Arabian Peninsula, suspicion has often focused on camels. That's because from time to time there have been reports that an infected person owned camels or attended camel races. But the WHO says many of the people who have contracted this virus reported no contact with the beasts.

The working hypothesis is the virus originated in bats, as SARS likely did before it. But people typically don't have a lot of contact with bats, and scientists have assumed some animal or animals is playing a bridging role, transmitting MERS to people.

Koopmans and colleagues uncovered a big clue earlier this year [2013], finding antibodies to MERS or a similar virus in camels from Oman and the Canary Islands. A later study found them in camels in Egypt as well.

But antibodies signal prior exposure to a pathogen. To confirm that camels play a role in this story, science needs evidence of current infection ­- which is what the Qatar team is reporting.

Earlier this month [November 2013] the deputy minister of health for Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ziad Memish, also reported a similar finding from a single camel in that country. Memish said at the time that work was underway to compare the genetic sequences of viral material taken from the camel and the man who owned him, who had also contracted the virus.

Memish has not responded to repeated requests for information on how that work is progressing.

Koopmans said the findings will answer some questions but raises others.

"This is our 1st clue which further fills out the whole story," agreed Bart Haagmans, a Dutch virologist who is involved in the laboratory side of this investigation.

"But there's more work to do, especially on routes of transmission."

Haagmans, who is with Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, said the team believes the findings are solid. They used 3 different tests, and found multiple fragments of viral RNA. As well, he said, the camels have developed antibodies to MERS.

What remains to be discovered ­- the key question the WHO would like to see answered ­- is how people are becoming infected with this virus. It is also critical to find out how much of a role animal-to-person spread is playing at this point and how much transmission is person to person.

"For sure there is a part of the outbreak that is caused by human-to-human transmission," Haagmans said.

"The question is, what is the fraction of these cases? And how many independent introductions do you have through zoonotic (from an animal) transmission?"

[Byline: Helen Branswell]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[The above information, to which we have been kindly referred by Helen Branswell, clarifies that the tests were apparently carried out in material from camel nasal swabs, identifying "multiple fragments of RNA"; serology was applied as well. Qatar has submitted an official notification to the OIE, reporting MERS-CoV in camels as an "emerging disease." The diagnosis was reportedly obtained by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). No clinical signs were reported; this, different from the 12 Nov 2013 report from Saudi Arabia (albeit, not to the OIE) which indicated that the camels, tested for MERS-CoV and found positive, "were symptomatic with fever and rhinorrhea" (see posting 20131112.2051424). Clinical observations of the camels on the affected barn in Qatar will be helpful.

The diagnosis of MERS-CoV in camels in Qatar has been endorsed by the WHO and OIE, apparently based upon PCR results; the virus has not been isolated yet. A scientific report describing the basis upon which the similarity between the human MERS-CoV and the camel-derived material has been demonstrated, is anticipated with much interest.

As rightly indicated by the interviewed scientists and underlined in OIE's Questions and Answers (see posting 20131129.2082115), the possibility of camel infection as being related to human disease is yet to be thoroughly studied. - Mod.AS

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/25dH.]


See Also
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (94): UAE (Abu Dhabi), Qatar 20131129.2082330
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (93): animal res., camel conf, Qatar (RY) OIE 20131129.2082115
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (92): animal reservoir, camel susp, Qatar, RFI 20131128.2080449
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (89): animal reservoir, camel susp 20131119.2064239
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (87): animal res. camel susp. precautions 20131113.2053932
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (85): animal reservoir, camel, susp, official 20131112.2051424
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (83): animal reservoir, camel, susp, RFI 20131112.2050868
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (75): role of bats in emergence, Saudi Arabia new cases 20131011.1996687
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (68): animal reservoir, camel, research 20130907.1929762
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (66): animal reservoir, discussion 20130904.1922998
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (61): animal reservoir, bat, comment 20130828.1907567
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (57): animal reservoir, bats 20130822.1895035
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (54): feline reservoir susp, RFI 20130815.1882273
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (53): animal reservoir, serology, FAO 20130811.1875301
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (52): animal reservoir, research, serology 20130809.1872008
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (50): animal reservoir, OIE 20130727.1849047
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (48): animal reservoir, bat susp 20130725.1844412
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (39): animal reservoir, research 20130706.1810714
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (25): Saudi Arabia, genome 20130612.1768944
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (10): animal reservoir, research 20130524.1735984
Novel coronavirus - East. Med. (07): Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany 20130221.1554109
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (03): animal reservoir, RFI 20130519.1723544
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (02): WHO summary, ECDC risk assessments 20130518.1721873
Novel coronavirus - Eastern Mediterranean (15): camel exposure 20130405.1623188
2012
----
Novel coronavirus - Saudi Arabia: human isolate 20120920.1302733
.................................................arn/je/jw

http://www.promedmail.org/direct.php?id=2082942

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:44 am 
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Qatar confirms new coronavirus in three camels: WHO

Nov 30,2013


GENEVA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Qatar notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that laboratory investigations have confirmed the presence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in three camels, the organization said Friday.

The camels were among a herd of 14 animals in a barn, with which two confirmed human infections reported in October had contact, according to the WHO.

It said these results showed that camels could be infected with MERS-CoV but there was insufficient information to indicate the role camels and other animals may be playing in the possible transmission of the virus, including to and from humans.

As a precautionary measure, the 14 camels on the farm have been isolated.

All contacts of the two confirmed human cases, as well as the other worker employed in this barn, have been screened and laboratory tests were all negative for MERS-CoV, said the WHO.

The Qatar health authorities are going to test additional samples from other animal species around the barn and will conduct further studies to evaluate the infection risk among individuals in close contact with animals.

The WHO advised people at high risk of severe disease due to MERS-CoV to avoid close contact with animals when visiting farms or barn areas where the virus is known to be potentially circulating.

The general public should observe general hygiene measures such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals visiting a farm or a barn, avoid contact with sick animals and follow food hygiene practices.


From September 2012 to date, the WHO has been informed of a global total of 160 lab-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 68 deaths.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/ar ... ?id=183854

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12021 ... _Seq2.html

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