Although we’ve seen several lulls in reporting this summer – some lasting a week or more – we continue to see new MERS cases emerge – particularly from the Riyadh region. Yesterday there were two new cases reported in the Capital city, and today we are notified of three more – plus one case in Najran.
Additionally, four recent cases – all from Riyadh – have died, including a 32 year-old who was admitted to the hospital on July 19th, and was listed having no comorbidities.
Of the five cases reported from Riyadh over the past 2 days, four are listed as contacts of known cases. Recent WHO GAR updates have identified both family and nosocomial exposures as propelling this recent surge of cases in Riyadh.
While exposure risks in these clusters are often easy to identify, in far too many cases the source of infection isn’t known. The 32-year-old who died had no known exposure risk, and simply presented himself at a local hospital with symptoms two weeks ago.
Last May, in WHO EMRO: Scientific Meeting Reviews MERS Progress & Knowledge Gaps we examined some of the deficits in our understanding of this disease, and the glaring lack of a well mounted case-control study, after more than three years.