Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Saudi Arabia: Confusing Reports Of A MERS Cluster At Al-Ahsa Hospital


We've a bit of a mystery this morning as the Arabic press carried multiple reports of a cluster of MERS cases at the Prince Sultan Center for Cardiovascular in Al-Ahsa over night, yet today's MOH report (graphic above) indicates no new cases.

We have been watching a nosocomial outbreak at an unidentified hospital in nearby Hufoof, and given the close proximity of the Prince Sultan Center to that city (see map below), they could easily be one and the same.

Where the details diverge from the reports published by the MOH and the media reports is that nearby Hufoof has reported just 5 cases in the past couple of weeks;
  • 2 primary with camel contact
  • 1 (asymptomatic) HCW
  • and 2 patients (1 expired
While the media reports indicate  that 1 case was transferred from Hufoof `last week', and that led to 5 hospital acquired cases.  Further complicating matters, it appears that several of these cases have been transferred to isolation wards at other hospitals.

This from Al Watan Online:

6 cases of Corona impose strict measures at the heart Ahsa

Hasa: Adnan Al Ghazal 2016-10-25 1:39 AM

Imposed a committee of the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the General Directorate of Health Affairs in Al-Ahsa 4 precautions tight at the Prince Sultan Center for Cardiovascular Ahsa, until further notice, after evidence of the arrival of a medical condition infected with "Corona" and transmission to 5 cases of patients in the same Center.

Transition infection

Medical sources in the health-Ahsa for "home" made it clear yesterday that the center last week received, patients transferred from one of the Ohads abandonment "away from Hofuf 110 km," was-patient in the hypnosis center sections, and found to be infected Bkorona, it was suspected transmission to 5 hypnotic cases, it was the application of quarantine for all, and transferred to isolation rooms in the medical tower new emergency department adjacent to the King Fahd Hospital in Hofuf, as were some patients converted to Prince Saud bin Jalawi new hospital "North extruded", as well as to take all precautionary measures and preventive transmission of the virus infection to other cases, stressing that these actions to prevent further cases of suspected or injuries, the General Directorate of health Affairs has taken in the province, other measures alternative to receive patients in neighboring outpatient clinics, and predicted those sources that these precautionary measures lifted early next week

Precautionary measures

Spokesman said the validity of Abdulrahman Al-Ahsa Sudrani for "home", in the gallery inquiry about it: I hope to communicate directly with the Ministry of Health, as all infectious diseases and related procedures is declared by the ministry.
As for the four procedures precautionary carried out, the sources said it included the closure of all outpatient clinics, as well as emergency departments for cases of non-critical at the center, and stop receiving cases of hypnosis at the center, as well as prevent the exit of all the patients from the center, and to prevent the visit of all inpatients, and taking vital signs All attendees of the center of the sections of the services on the ground floor.

As I said, it's all a bit confusing. But for now I suspect this is all tied somehow to the Hufoof cases we've already seen reported.

The CCC weekly monitor - which for nearly a year has provided us with much greater detail on KSA's MERS outbreaks - hasn't been  updated in more than 2 months (Volume 2 - Issue 32- Tuesday, August 16, 2016​), but perhaps they'll post something on this incident. 

As noted in previous blogs, the Saudi MOH has been known to delay the reporting of cases (for reasons never specified) for several days, and so there may well be additional cases in the queue. 

Stay tuned. 

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