Monday, February 09, 2015

MERS Expectations

The figure is an epidemiologic curve showing the number of cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection reported by the World Health Organization, by month and year of illness onset, worldwide during 2012-2015. The majority (504) of the 956 MERS cases were reported to have occurred during March-May 2014.

CDC MMWR - Number of cases of MERS infections reported by the World Health Organization,* by month of illness onset — worldwide, 2012–2015

 


# 9690

Although it is far too soon to judge how well the newly appointed Saudi Minister of Health will cope with their MERS problems, in what may be a hopeful sign the MOH is visibly ramping up their public health messaging, while at the same time warning that a spike in Coronavirus cases is to expected over the next few weeks.

 

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After viewing the chart showing last spring’s MERS showing, it doesn’t exactly take the Amazing Kreskin to predict another spring surge, but the following warning from the MOH wins points for both honesty and practicality.

 

Updated: 14:05, February 9, 2015 on Monday

Expectations of increased injuries Corona, Saudi Arabia, the next three weeks

Under Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Saeed announced that the next three weeks will see increased infections, "Corona" in Saudi Arabia, due to climate change and variability, describing this as a critical period.

Under Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Saeed announced that the next three weeks will see increased infections, "Corona" in Saudi Arabia, due to climate change and variability, describing this as a critical period.

"Economic" the newspaper quoted Sunday Ibn Said confirmed that the ministry has developed the necessary preparations to deal with the expected increased cases, pointing out that he did not record any HIV infection among health care workers in hospitals during the current year 2015, and that all existing injuries resulting from societal injuries were not the result for infection in hospitals.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health said that a team from the World Health Organization will visit Saudi Arabia after days to assess the situation and provide guidance to deal with this virus -almsúl for "Mirs" Middle East respiratory syndrome - during the coming period

(Continue . . .)

 

The supposed lack of nosocomial infections announced in this report is certainly good news, but at the same time it begs the question, why are we seeing so many community acquired cases? 

 

A week ago, in WHO MERS Update & The Community Transmission Mystery, we looked at some of the many unanswered questions surrounding community spread of the virus.

 

Although the precise mechanism behind the spring surge of MERS cases hasn’t been established, last year in WHO: Upsurge in MERS Corona Virus Due to Warmer Weather, the return of warmer temperatures was suggested as one factor.

 

Another possibility frequently cited has revolved around the winter calving season for camels, leading to the large population of young – immunologically naive – camels in the spring, who may then spread the virus to humans.

At this point, nobody really knows.

 

In anticipation of a another spring surge, the CDC’s MMWR recently carried an overview of MERS (see MMWR: MERS Epidemiological Update & Guidance), along with guidance for the public, clinicians, and public health authorities. 

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