The first clusters of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in Oman: Time to act

Salah T. Al Awaidy*, Ali Abdullah Al Maqbali, Iyad Omer, Suad Al Mukhaini, Mohammed Ali Al Risi, Majed Sultan Al Maqbali, Ali Al Reesi, Mujahid Al Busaidi, Fatma Hashim Al Hashmi, Talib Khamis Al Maqbali, Vidyanand Vaidya, Elham Said Ahmed Al Risi, Ahmed Abdullah Rashid, Maryam Abdullah Hassan Al Beloshi, Arash Etemadi, Faryal Khamis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is an emerging infectious disease of growing global importance. This review describes the latest MERS-CoV clusters and the first cases of nosocomial transmission within health care facilities in Oman. We have highlighted lessons learned and proposed steps to prevent healthcare-associated infections. Methods: A descriptive analysis of MERS-CoV cases was conducted between January 23 and February 16, 2019. The data from officials and other published sources used. Results: Thirteen laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV were reported from three simultaneous clusters from two governorates without an epidemiological link between the clusters. Two clusters were reported from North Al Batinah Governorate, with nine cases (69%) and 1 cluster from South Ash Sharqiyah Governorate with four cases (31%). In total, four deaths were reported (case fatality rate 31%). Four cases (31%) reported were household contacts from the first cluster, 3 (23%) were nosocomial transmission in health care facilities (two for first and one from the second cluster) and 7 (54%) were community-acquired cases. Conclusions: The first local clusters of MERS-CoV reported with evidence suggestive of healthcare and household-associated transmission. Early diagnosis and strict implementation of infection control measures remain fundamental in preventing and managing MERS-CoV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Healthcare associated transmission
  • Household-associated transmission
  • Infection control
  • MERS
  • MERS-CoV
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
  • Nosocomial infection
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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