Via his VDU Blog, today Dr. Ian Mackay takes a long, hard look at where things stand with the MERS coronavirus on the third birthday of its announced discovery, and casts his virologist’s eye on the highlights (and lowlights) of MERS research and understanding over the past year.
It has been 3-years since Prof. Ali Mohamed Zaki sent his email to ProMED notifying them, and the world, of a novel coronavirus (15-Sept-2012). That email was published 20-Sept 2012.[1,7,8]
Two years ago at this time we had 138 cases and 58 deaths, last year 856 cases with perhaps 306 fatal (36%). Today, we have heard of 1,588 cases worldwide of which at least 551 (35%) have been fatal.[2,3] A higher proportion of fatal cases occur in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) than were recorded in the 2015 South Korean outbreak. The type and extent of a nation's community that has comorbidities may play a role in these differences. The young seem nearly untouched by MERS. To date, 26 countries have harboured a MERS-CoV infected person and 13 of those have hosted ongoing transmission.