The latest update from the Saudi MOH indicates 4 new MERS cases (2 HCWs in Riyadh, 1 in Najran, and 1 in Al Kharj), along with two recent deaths. This makes 135 cases reported out of Saudi Arabia over the past 30 days, an unusually high number of cases for this time of year.
While most of the activity has been centered around the capital Riyadh, the past few days we’ve seen a growing number of cases from Najran, near the Yemen border.
Today, we also see the first case in several weeks from Al Kharj, the source of which isn’t stated.
The source of these sporadic `primary cases’ – community cases without a known risk exposure – are the topic of a blog overnight by Dr. Ian Mackay (see Where do these 'primary' MERS cases come from?), which includes a fascinating chart showing their incidence.
This is also an issue we’ve looked at previously, in WHO EMRO: Scientific Meeting Reviews MERS Progress & Knowledge Gaps and The Community Transmission Mystery).
Based on the limited scientific studies that have been released, for now, we still have more questions than answers.