Although we are only seeing a few sporadic cases around the Kingdom right now- with the Hajj now just a little over a month away - the emergence of new `primary' MERS cases in Saudi Arabia takes on even greater significance, with nearly 2 million religious pilgrims expected to arrive in early September.
`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 some primary cases are due to camel exposure (either direct or indirect), for the vast majority, the source of infection remains unknown.
Today the Saudi MOH has announced a new primary case, that of a 36 year-old male in stable condition, from Huraymia (about 90 km Northwest of Riyadh).
As the Hajj approaches we'll be looking at some of the recommendations for traveler's that will be attending, along with some of the challenges faced by public health agencies when these mass gatherings occur.