OPEN Emerging infectious diseases | 19 Apr 2016
DL Hastings, JI Tokars, IZ Abdel Aziz, KZ Alkhaldi, AT Bensadek, BM Alraddadi, H Jokhdar, JA Jernigan, MA Garout, SM Tomczyk, IK Oboho, AI Geller, N Arinaminpathy, DL Swerdlow and TA Madani
During March-May 2014, a Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that included many persons who worked or received medical treatment at King Fahd General Hospital. We investigated 78 persons who had laboratory-confirmed MERS during March 2-May 10 and documented contact at this hospital. The 78 persons with MERS comprised 53 patients, 16 healthcare workers, and 9 visitors. Among the 53 patients, the most probable sites of acquisition were the emergency department (22 patients), inpatient areas (17), dialysis unit (11), and outpatient areas (3). Infection control deficiencies included limited separation of suspected MERS patients, patient crowding, and inconsistent use of infection control precautions; aggressive improvements in these deficiencies preceded a decline in cases. MERS coronavirus transmission probably was multifocal, occurring in multiple hospital settings. Continued vigilance and strict application of infection control precautions are necessary to prevent future MERS outbreaks.
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