For the fourth day in a row Korea reports a single new MERS case, this time the 50 y.o. wife of a man (case #132) who was diagnosed on June 12th, and released from the hospital last Thursday. As a contact of a diagnosed case, she spent the requisite 14 days in quarantine, but did not develop symptoms until a week after her release.
This isn’t the first report out of Korea suggesting a longer-than-normal incubation period, although the other cases have been explained away as having been belatedly diagnosed.
Today’s Korean Herald headline, however, reads `MERS incubation period in doubt’. While other possibilities exist – namely the patient visited Samsung Hospital for a cancer treatment three days before falling ill - that report strongly suggests this case experienced a 3-week incubation period.
We’ll see. This from today’s news report:
“It is likely she acquired the virus from her husband, and the symptoms belatedly showed up after her cancer treatment compromised her immune system,” Jeong Eun-gyeong of the MERS special response team said.
But the three-week gap between her husband’s isolation and the manifestation of her symptoms raised the possibility that she may have been infected by MERS at Samsung Medical Center in Gangnam district, southern Seoul. Last Monday, she visited the Samsung hospital to receive cancer treatment, three days before first expressing symptoms.
“We believe there is no possibility that patient No. 186 was exposed to medical staff infected with MERS. ... We are conducting further investigation on (her being infected via) other medical staff or patients, but such a possibility is low, for now,” Jeong said.
The official report from the Korean authorities simply identifies the case as the spouse of case #132, and states that `epidemiological studies are currently being conducted.’
- the treatment of 37 patients (19.9%), hospital 116 patients (62.4%) died 33 persons (17.8%) diagnosed with total 186 persons
- day of treatment compared to four people a sense of small , discharge character 5 persons increases , the death toll unchanged , confirmed 1 persons increased
- it is treated 37 patients stable state is 25 persons (67.6%), unstable 12 patients (32.4%).
- Confirmed type of hospital patients 83 patients , families / visit 64 people , hospital workers 39 people
While a bit of a medical mystery (and outliers beyond the `normal range’ for incubation periods are not unheard of with other viral infections), the good news is we will probably see a detailed follow up on this case in the weeks to come.