After a very quiet July - during which KSA only reported 5 MERS cases - the month of August has taken off, as of today with 16 cases reported over the past 7 days.
Of those 16, 11 are linked to a growing household/hospital cluster in Domat Al Jandal.Today's cases from Domat Al Jandal include 3 asymptomatic HCWs, 1 household contact in critical condition, and 1 hospital acquired (patient) in critical condition. As we've seen over the past couple of years, asymptomatic cases are increasingly being reported in these clusters, possibly due to better contract tracing and testing.
In addition to this Domat Al Jandal cluster, 2 other primary cases (no exposure identified) are reported from other regions of Saudi Arabia. One patient (M,58) is listed in critical condition, while the other (M,55) is listed as stable.
Sporadic primary cases - some due to camel exposure, others without explanation - continue to pop up around the Kingdom almost weekly. Occasionally we'll see small household clusters, but it is usually in a hospital or clinic setting where we see the biggest outbreaks.
While KSA has managed to prevent any truly large (100+ cases) nosocomial outbreaks over the past year - such as were seen in 2014 and 2015 - they continue to struggle to identify and isolate suspected MERS cases early enough to prevent hospital outbreaks altogether.