Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saudi MOH Statement On Early Start To MERS Season


Credit Dr. Ian Mackay’s VDU Blog  – MERS Cases by Month



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With its first known outbreak occurring in the spring of 2012, and minor bump up in cases (n=21) in May of 2013, there were some early hints that MERS might have some degree of `seasonality’.  The following spring (Apr-May-Jun 2014) saw more than a 10-fold increase over the previous year, further elevating concerns over the spread of this emerging  coronavirus.


With only one major spring wave under our belts, it wasn’t entirely clear whether 2014 was an outlier, or a harbinger. 


We are, once again, seeing a major uptick in cases, with an even earlier start to this year’s  `MERS season’. So far in February we’ve seen a 5-fold increase in the number of cases over last year, and the month is far from over.  


Although roughly 1/3rd of recent cases have been linked to hospital exposures, for the majority of cases, no exposure risks have been identified.


Today the Saudi MOH has announced plans to cancel leaves for Health Care workers (see Xinhua story below) until this wave is over, and has released a statement on the early arrival of MERS.


Saudi Arabia suspends leaves in heightened effort to combat MERS   2015-02-19 18:25:58

RIYADH, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia has ordered a three-month suspension of leaves for all health workers at departments responsible for combating the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), local media reported on Thursday.

The decision came amid a surge in MERS corona virus cases, which added 27 new ones and five deaths in the previous week alone, Okaz reported.

The spokesman of the Health Ministry, Khalid Margalani, told the newspaper that there is a proposal to suspend leaves for all staffers dealing with the corona virus until the end of the flu season.

As of Wednesday, Saudi Arabia has registered 897 cases of MERS corona virus infections, of which 377 people have died, according to the latest figures available on the website of the Health Ministry.


This (translated) statement from the Saudi MOH, which focuses on increased hospital infection control and public awareness to combat the virus.  It also reiterates the role of camels in the zoonotic introduction of the virus into the community.



Health: season (SK) started ahead of schedule in the next two months

30 March 1436

The Assistant Deputy Minister for Health Dr Trevor that the highest rates of HIV infection (SK) when recorded with chronic diseases were over 50 years old, and among males than females.

He said HIV infection season this year started earlier than expected in the next two months (March-April), where the Health Ministry has prepared to intensify awareness campaigns for the community, in addition to processing facilities to deal with suspicions and sensitize health workers to sort patients in emergency clinics, using personal protection kits, reflecting the commitment of health care workers infection control procedures is very important to prevent patients in health facilities, so the training campaign that included more than 40,000 health practitioner, and formed teams of field control In the regions to visit public and private hospitals and ensure the application of health requirements.

The host Dr. Charles at the National Centre for information and education of the Ministry of health, as part of the awareness campaign to promote HIV (SK) Middle East syndrome causing respiratory (MERS.COV).

He stressed that the most important reasons behind the lack of vaccine virus (SK) is a genetic mutation of the virus, and the difficulty of finding a powerful immune Stimulator in its composition, as well as the concentration of major companies and research centers to conduct research necessary for vaccine production; the lack of return on investment is tempting, as well as lack of proper brooder in experimental animals for testing.

And the role of the camels in the transmission of the disease has stressed Mary it is scientifically, and responsibility here is shared between ministries of health and agriculture to work on educating the community in General, and the camel owners and sponsors and contacts and access to them by all appropriate means, especially as some target groups not using modern means of communication such as social media channels and email; and require greater efforts in communicating information to those categories.

He noted that many questions among the public about the disease symptoms are an indication of the fear people because of the lack of obvious symptoms helps to differentiate between the common and the respiratory diseases (SK).

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