After a remarkable (and unexpected) lull in MERS cases for the past 30 days, we’ve an abrupt uptick today with three cases reported across three different cities of Saudi Arabia.
Details, as always, are scant. From the table it appears that none are HCWs, and no known exposure risks are noted.
As we’ve discussed previously (see The Community Transmission Mystery), while the source of some MERS infections are fairly obvious, for the vast majority we still don’t know how these patients were exposed.
These are questions that are usually resolved by conducting a comprehensive case-control study, where epidemiologists compare laboratory-confirmed cases to a large number of controls, matched for age, sex, and by neighborhood.
While repeated promises have been made (see KSA Announces Start To Long-Awaited MERS Case Control Study), for whatever reason, we’ve yet to see the results of this type of study from the Saudis.