Although December has been a very quiet month for MERS reports, the Saudi MOH is reporting their second primary case in a week, with this latest case from the town of Unizah (aka Unaizah) which is located roughly 30 km south of Buraidah - a region which has reported two MERS cases since late November.
Today's case is listed as a 59 y.o. male in critical condition, who is categorized as a `primary case' - one that occurs in the community where there is no known exposure to a health care facility or to a known human case.
Over the past 3 years, roughly 40% of Saudi cases are listed as either `primary’ or as from an undetermined origin.
Camel exposure has been assumed to account for some percentage of these cases, but other sources of infection in the community - possibly including asymptomatic cases - are also assumed.
Details, as usual, are scant, but this patient is already far enough along in his illness to be listed in critical condition.