In recent months most of the MERS activity in Saudi Arabia has been centered around the town of Hofuf (aka `Hafoof’, `Hafuf’, etc.) in the Northeastern part of the country. What began with a single case in mid-April grew into a family cluster in early May, and then into a full blown nosocomial outbreak (apparently across more than one hospital) in May and June (see WHO: A Saudi MERS Infographic). .
Since the Saudi MOH doesn’t publish onset dates in their daily reports, it is impossible to say how long today’s case has actually been ill. The scant information provided (93, M with no listed exposure risks) provides us with few clues as to how this person may have contracted the virus.
As we’ve discussed often (see WHO EMRO: Scientific Meeting Reviews MERS Progress & Knowledge Gaps) there remain significant gaps in our understanding of how this virus is circulating in the community and in the wild in the Middle East.
While camel (or camel product) contact can explain some of these cases, for many, no known exposure risk has been identified.