Monday, May 18, 2015

Saudi Weekly MERS Summary


Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL


# 10,059



When the Saudi MOH posts their parsimonious daily MERS reports they offer a consolation prize of sorts, a promise that `More information on the exposure history will be posted on the weekly update’.  The reality of these weekly MERS updates has been underwhelming in the past. 


They generally cite some dry statistics on how many people they’ve tested, how few have actually tested positive, and remind us what a good job the MOH is doing.


With a sudden uptick in MERS cases (n=12), half of those appearing to stem from a large family cluster in Hofuf (along with a recently installed Health Minister at the helm), I had faint hopes this week’s installment would mark a change, and we’d actually get `more information on the exposure history’ of the Hofuf cluster.


Unfortunately the cookie cutter statement format we’ve seen for months remains intact.  


(machine translated)

(Health) recorded 12 cases of B (CK) during the past week

28 Rajab 1436

Ministry of Health said in a statement that the weekly number was recorded 12 confirmed cases of infection (Corona) throughout the past week in: Hofuf, Taif, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Qunfudah, And during the period from 21 July to 271 436 H, corresponding to 10 to 16 May 2015 m (International Week 20).

The ministry said that although the number of cases is still less than what was recorded in the same period of last year, but it has been observed that the number of cases has increased compared to the week, which was accepted; therefore the ministry confirms the continuation of preparations as they are, and that efforts must continue cooperation All parties, especially the cooperation of community health workers, who represent the main pillar in the face of the disease.

The ministry showed that in 1380 were examined a sample of virus (Corona) in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health during the same period. The number of public health teams in contact visits to 12 positive cases amounted to visit. The number of visits to the Ministry of Agriculture also reached two visits, while the ministry's efforts in health education segments of society continued through the awareness campaign virus (Corona) (appreciate plugged). As it confirmed healing 552 infected cases (La Coruna), thankfully at a rate of 55.3%, from a total total number of confirmed cases and 999 of the case.

And it continues to command and control center at the Ministry of Health efforts around the clock, through carrying out epidemiological surveillance, and to ensure the commitment of all public and private health facilities to apply infection control procedures, as well as coordination with relevant government sectors and international health organizations, including the WHO and the houses of the Organization of experience to follow What about all emerging virus (Corona). The ministry also continue its efforts and fully coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture to carry out awareness campaigns virus (Corona) in places camels gathered and contacts from her owners and breeders to be cautious and taking the causes of prevention when dealing with camels


While I’d like to be able to report that these sorts of vague, candy-coated updates are unique to the Saudi MOH, the truth is I see these sorts of tactics used every day on agency websites around the world – including many in the United States.  


I suspect there is a university somewhere churning out public information officers with a degree in saying nothing with the greatest possible number of words.


The good news is, the World Health Organization has managed to fill in many of these missing details in their updates in the past. With a little luck we’ll have a better feel for how the Hofuf cluster played out in the next couple of weeks.

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