After 4 days without a reported case, the Saudi MOH is once again reporting a primary MERS case from Najran very near the Yemen border. This is the 5th primary case from Najran reported since mid-June.
`Primary cases’ are those that occur in the community when there is no known exposure to a healthcare facility or to a known human case.
While primary cases can include either direct or indirect camel exposure, we usually are informed if that is suspected. For a very large percentage of primary cases, a source of infection is never identified.
So far 2016 has been a moderately active year for MERS cases in the Kingdom, with 156 cases reported thus far. Of those, 81 are primary, 66 are secondary, and 9 are unclassified.
Although we've seen a couple of small nosocomial outbreaks, we've not seen anything approaching those reported in 2014 and 2015.
Hopefully this is a sign that hospitals in KSA are doing a better job of identifying and isolating suspected cases. With the Hajj only 8 weeks away, when millions of religious pilgrims will visit the Holy Cities of the Kingdom, a lot is riding on their ability to sustain these practices.