The ECDC has published a new epidemiological update on MERS-CoV as the global tally approaches 1400 cases and 538 deaths in just over 3 years. While not a huge number, it is considerably more than the combined number of H5N1 and H7N9 avian flu cases reported over the same time period.
And roughly 90% of those cases have occurred in the past 18 months.
While many cases have been linked to nosocomial spread, there remain serious gaps in our understanding of how the virus is being spread in the community, something we explored at some depth last May in WHO EMRO: Scientific Meeting Reviews MERS Progress & Knowledge Gaps.
As we’ve come to expect, the ECDC’s MERS update is concise, data rich, and features a number of useful charts and graphs. Follow the link to read:
22 Jul 2015
Since April 2012 and as of 21 July 2015, 1 392 cases of MERS (including 538 deaths) have been reported by health authorities worldwide (Figure 1 and Table 1).
Figure 1. Distribution of confirmed cases of MERS by month* and probable place of acquisition of infection, March 2012–21 July 2015 (n=1 392)
Since the previous update of the ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment on MERS-CoV (30 June 2015), 13 new cases and seven deaths have been reported globally from South Korea (4 cases and 4 deaths), Saudi Arabia (8 cases and 3 deaths) and the Philippines who reported a travel-related MERS case related to travel in the Middle East on 6 July 2015.
The majority of cases have occurred in the Middle East, most of them in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (Table 1). However, South Korea has reported the highest number of new cases since the start of the outbreak there in early May 2015.