Thursday, May 15, 2014

MMWR Early Release On MERS-CoV




# 8626

The CDC’s MMWR published a detailed review of the MERS Coronavirus, and its epidemiology, as part of an early release yesterday. The entire document is well worth reviewing (see link below), but one particular aspect deserves special highlighting – a graphical depiction of arrivals to the US & Canada from Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the months of May and June.


Alternate Text: The figure above shows points of entry and volume of travelers on flights to the United States of America and Canada from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during May-June 2014. Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago O'Hare airport, historically has the fourth highest volume of arriving travelers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the months of May and June. Five cities in the United States accounted for 75% of arrivals from Saudi Arabia and UAE; approximately 100,000 travelers are estimated to arrive in these five cities from Saudi Arabia and UAE in May and June 2014.


This graphic illustrates just how interconnected our world has become, and just how commonplace international travel really is.


As we’ve discussed in the past (see Pathogens At the Gate & Shakes On A Plane), airlines carry roughly 2.6 billion passengers each year on over 17 million flights, and are an efficient way to rapidly disseminate infectious diseases - making an outbreak of an infectious disease anywhere in the world a global concern -  not just a local one.


The full report, which contains information on both US imported cases (Indiana & Florida), can be accessed at:


First Confirmed Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection in the United States, Updated Information on the Epidemiology of MERS-CoV Infection, and Guidance for the Public, Clinicians, and Public Health Authorities — May 2014

Early Release

May 14, 2014 / 63(Early Release);1-6

Since mid-March 2014, the frequency with which cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection have been reported has increased, with the majority of recent cases reported from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition, the frequency with which travel-associated MERS cases have been reported and the number of countries that have reported them to the World Health Organization (WHO) have also increased. The first case of MERS in the United States, identified in a traveler recently returned from Saudi Arabia, was reported to CDC by the Indiana State Department of Health on May 1, 2014, and confirmed by CDC on May 2. A second imported case of MERS in the United States, identified in a traveler from Saudi Arabia having no connection with the first case, was reported to CDC by the Florida Department of Health on May 11, 2014. The purpose of this report is to alert clinicians, health officials, and others to increase awareness of the need to consider MERS-CoV infection in persons who have recently traveled from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula.* This report summarizes recent epidemiologic information, provides preliminary descriptions of the cases reported from Indiana and Florida, and updates CDC guidance about patient evaluation, home care and isolation, specimen collection, and travel as of May 13, 2014.

(Continue . . .)

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