The worrying uptick in MERS cases in Saudi Arabia, which began just 10 days ago, continues with the report of a 37 y.o. Healthcare Worker in Taif now infected.
This comes on the heels of 3 other cases recently reported out of Taif – which lies just about 60 miles to the east of the Holy City of Mecca – which in two weeks will be the primary destination for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims going to the Hajj.
Yesterday the Saudi MOH also released a report – without details – indicating that a new case had been reported in Riyadh. Over the past 10 days, this bring to 8 the number of new MERS cases reported out of Saudi Arabia, after a relatively quiet couple of months.
While we’ve no indication as to how these recent cases came to be infected, last week the KSA MOH Reiterate Camel Warnings On MERS.
Whether or not MERS infections appear during the Hajj, given the volume of respiratory illnesses around the time of the Hajj, public health agencies around the world are likely to have their hands full dealing with the sheer volume of symptomatic (with `something’) travelers returning from the Middle East this fall (see MERS: The Price Of Vigilance).