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MERS outbreak infected 10 in Jordan in 2012, study shows

By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   June 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM   |   Comments

June 17 (UPI) -- The first known outbreak of the MERS coronavirus infected at least 10 people in Jordan in 2012, according to a retrospective study.

Officials at Jordan's Ministry of Health revealed the news Monday in an interview from Amman.

Investigators got the results after testing blood samples from 124 patients who were tested for antibodies to the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus. According to Dr. Mohammad Al-Abdallat, eight people tested positive to the virus, including six people who were known to be sick during the first outbreak.

The other two confirmed cases reportedly died at the time of the outbreak, but weren't confirmed until later through the study of stored samples.

The findings were part of a study performed by both the Jordanian health ministry and scientists from the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control in Atlanta, Ga.

If added the the World Health Organization's global count, it would bring the total count of MERS coronavirus infections to 78 cases, 38 of which have resulted in fatalities.

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