|Original Map Credit Wikipedia|
Saudi Arabia's February surge in MERS cases continues with 4 new cases announced (1 late yesterday, 3 today). Of these two are secondary cases from hard hit Wadi Aldwasir, and two others are primary cases with camel contact; one in Mekkah, and the other in Jeddah.
Of note, two cases announced on Thursday from Wadi Aldwasir remain unclassified, and are still listed as `under investigation'.
So far in 2019, Saudi Arabia has announced 77 MERS cases - and of those 49 have hailed from Wadi Aldwasir. In addition to more than a dozen primary infections (some with camel contact, some without).
- 7 cases have been listed as secondary, household contacts
- 2 cases have been listed as secondary, community-acquired
- 26 cases have been listed as secondary, healthcare-acquired.
Community transmission of the virus has thankfully been both sporadic and limited, and so the virus has fallen short of producing a sustained epidemic. Hopefully that will remain the case.
But a 2017 study found the virus's basic reproduction number (R0 : pronounced R-nought) was inching closer to the magic number of 1.0, which is what is required for an outbreak to have `legs' (see A Pandemic Risk Assessment Of MERS-CoV In Saudi Arabia).So we are monitoring this MERS surge closely, looking for any signs that the virus's patterns are changing.