MERS-CoV is a severe respiratory disease caused by MERS coronavirus, a new virus first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

As of 18 February 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been notified of 2357 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 820 deaths, from 27 countries. 

Recent reports

Saudi Arabia

MERS-CoV cases continue to be reported by Saudi Arabia, including an ongoing cluster of cases in the city of Wadi Aldwaser and one of its hospitals involving at least 52 confirmed cases. Other smaller clusters have also been reported recently in other areas.


Since 27 January 2019, a total of 13 MERS-CoV cases were reported from Oman, including a cluster of nine linked cases in North Batinah and another cluster of four cases in South Sharquia.

Global risk assessment

The notification of additional cases does not change the overall risk assessment. WHO expects that additional cases of MERS-CoV infection will be reported from the Middle East, and that cases will continue to be exported to other countries by individuals who might acquire the infection after exposure to dromedary camels, animal products (for example, consumption of camel’s raw milk), or humans (for example, in a health care setting).

Further information

See the WHO MERS coronavirus page for MERS-CoV international outbreak updates and technical guidance

See the NSW Health MERS disease page for a range of information and resources.

Page Updated: Wednesday 13 March 2019
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases