As of 25 June 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) global case count was 1,353 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS‑CoV, including at least 481 deaths (case fatality rate 36%) since the first cases were reported in September 2012. For the latest updates see WHO Coronavirus infections update.
Republic of Korea Outbreak
The WHO has reported 182 cases including 33 deaths to 30 June 2015 in the ongoing outbreak in the Republic of Korea (RoK). The outbreak began with a man who travelled to multiple countries in the Middle East during the 14 days prior to onset before returning to the RoK. One of the 182 cases travelled to China after leaving quarantine in the RoK.
For case numbers please go to the WHO website.
All cases of MERS CoV have had a history of residence in or travel to the Middle East (>90% Saudi Arabia), or contact with travellers returning from these areas, except for three cases in the Republic of Korea, which are linked to tertiary spread from an imported case. There have been no cases in Australia.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO has encouraged all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.
Camels are suspected to be the primary source of infection for humans, but the exact routes of direct or indirect exposure are not fully understood, and further studies (particularly case control studies) are needed. The WHO advises that people should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.
The Australian Department of Health has issued updated advice to the community, to General Practitioners, and to other clinicians, laboratory and public health personnel, available at their MERS-CoV website.
WHO does not recommend the application of any travel restrictions to affected countries but have provided travel advice for people making pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia.
See the NSW Health Hajj Travel Advice factsheet with information for pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj or Umrah.
Information for NSW Health Professionals