Even though Thailand’s first MERS case was only announced a few hours ago (see Thailand MOH Statement On Their 1st MERS Case), the ECDC has already incorporated that latest case into their newest MERS epidemiological update.
As we’ve come to expect, this latest report is chock full of useful charts, maps, and graphs and provides an excellent overview of not only where we are right now with MERS, but how we got here.
A few excerpts follow, but you’ll definitely want to read (and probably save) the entire update.
18 Jun 2015
On 16 June 2015 Germany reported the death of a previously reported case. The person died on 6 June.
On 18 June 2015, the health authorities in Thailand reported their first MERS-CoV case. Media report that the person travelled to Thailand from Oman.
Since the last epidemiological update on 15 June 2015, 25 additional cases and seven deaths in previously reported cases have been reported in South Korea. As of 18 June, the total number of cases in South Korea is 164, including 23 deaths.
Since the last update on 11 June 2015, Saudi Arabia has reported seven additional cases and seven deaths in previously reported cases.
On 16 June 2015, WHO reported an additional case in the United Arab Emirates in a non-national.
World Health Organization ninth meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee
On 16 June 2015, WHO convened the ninth meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee on MERS-CoV in regards to the current outbreak in South Korea.
The Committee noted the assessment of the Joint mission to South Korea and that the main factors contributing to the spread of MERS-CoV were:
- lack of awareness among healthcare workers and the general public about MERS;
- suboptimal infection prevention and control measures in hospitals;
- close and prolonged contact of infected MERS patients in crowded emergency rooms and multibed rooms in hospitals;
- the practice of seeking care at multiple hospitals ("doctor shopping");
- the custom of many visitors or family members staying with infected patients in the hospital rooms facilitating secondary spread of infections among contacts.
The Committee noted that available evidence on genetic sequencing did not identify any significant changes in the viruses obtained from cases in South Korea compared to viruses from the Middle East. Ongoing monitoring of potential genetic changes in these viruses is important. In this outbreak, transmission of MERS-CoV has been strongly associated with healthcare settings. This aspect stresses the need for health authorities to make every possible effort to ensure that effective infection prevention and control measures are in place at all times.
The Committee concluded that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern have not been met.
On 16 June 2015, Germany reported the death of a previously reported case. The 65-year-old , who travelled to United Arab Emirates earlier this year, died in Germany on 6 June due to lung disease.
Since the last update on 11 June 2015, Saudi Arabia reported seven additional cases and seven deaths in previously reported cases. All of the cases are reported from Hofuf, except one from Riyadh. One of the seven additional cases is a healthcare worker.
United Arab Emirates
On 16 June 2015, WHO reported an additional case in a 65-year-old non-national male from the Eastern region. He developed symptoms on 31 May and was admitted to hospital on 6 June. The patient, who has comorbidities, tested positive for MERS-CoV on 14 June. He has no history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms. Currently, the patient is in critical condition in an intensive care unit. Tracing of household and healthcare contacts is ongoing.
On 18 June 2015, the health authorities in Thailand reported the first case of MERS-CoV in a 77-year-old Middle Eastern man who travelled there to visit a private healthcare facility . According to the media quoting the Public Health Minister, the man comes from Oman. The local health authorities report having taken the necessary measures according to WHO guidelines.
South Korea - China
On 20 May 2015, the South Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported a case of MERS-CoV in a 68-year-old man, with recent travel history to the Middle East. The patient has no history of exposure to known risk factors in the 14 days prior to detection. Investigation of the source of infection is ongoing.
Since the last epidemiological update published by ECDC on 15 June 2015, 25 additional cases and seven deaths in previously reported cases have been reported by South Korean authorities. As of 18 June, the number of cases reported in South Korea is 164, including 23 deaths. One non-fatal case has been reported in China.