While we’ve seen a slight drop-off in the number of new cases reported the past few days, the number of deaths have spiked, leading to numerous articles in the Arabic and English press. The following is from AFP.
AFP , Friday 20 Feb 2015
Deaths from the MERS virus have surged in Saudi Arabia, health ministry figures showed on Friday, after authorities warned of a seasonal increase in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The ministry recorded five deaths on Thursday alone, bringing to 16 the number since February 11.
That figure compares with a single death from the virus in the first 10 days of the month.
With today’s announcement, we are up to 17 deaths reported since February 11th. Three cities (Riyadh, Buraydah & Khobar) have each contributed four fatalities to this list.
Fifteen of theses 17 deaths have been male, and the ages run from 23 to 83 years of age.
Age and gender continues to skew heavily towards older males.
While a little over 1/3rd of the cases this month have been linked to hospital exposures, the route of infection for the majority of cases remains undetermined.