After a one-day break, the Saudi MOH is reporting another MERS case – this time of a health care worker in Riyadh.
The patient’s probable source of infection is listed as a `Secondary Health Care (HCW)’, a designation we’ve not seen used before in these daily reports, and whose meaning is somewhat ambiguous.
The Saudis continue to tinker with their daily report format, and while it still lacks much in the way of important epidemiological data, it is conveying more information than we’ve seen previously. Hopefully a good sign.
As the Hajj ends this weekend, 1.4 million religious pilgrims will begin their long journey home, and for the next few weeks public health agencies around the world will be on heightened alert in case MERS (or other infectious diseases) turns up among any of them.
While pilgrims have attended from more than 180 countries, the nations sending the largest number of religious pilgrims each year include Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran and Turkey.
Countries that, at least in some regions, might find it difficult to quickly identify, isolate, and contain an outbreak.