Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Saudi MOH Announces 1 Primary MERS Case In Riyadh

Update: 11:15 EDT -  A h/t to Crof who spotted 3 recoveries in the the Feb 12th update from the MOH (no new cases), who are all previously unannounced HCWs MERS cases from Hafar Al-Batin, which has been the subject of media reports for more than a week.
While this confirms that outbreak, it still leaves us with the Taiwan CDC report of 4 cases and 3 fatalities mentioned below.


Over the past two weeks we've seen inconsistent reporting on MERS cases from the Saudi MOH, with only 4 entries between January 20th and Feb 12th (see list below) on the English language MERS surveillance page.  

During that time, no new cases were reported.


On Sunday, in Saudi MOH: Mismatching MERS Reports, I wrote about a case reported on their Arabic site on the 9th - of a primary case in Riyadh - for which there was no matching  entry on the English side.  

Stranger still, in More On Recent Reports Of Saudi MERS-CoV Activity, I posted an outbreak notification from the Taiwan CDC website which indicated there were 4 MERS cases and 3 deaths in KSA between January 30th and Feb 8th.
Again, no mention of these cases on either list. 
Today, however, the MOH has posted a report of a 42 y.o. Expat male in critical condition in Riyadh, listed as a primary case with no known camel contact.  Since this case is also reported today on the Arabic surveillance list, it doesn't appear to be a belated posting of the Arabic case from the 9th.


Exactly what is behind these recent gaps and inconsistencies in MERS reporting from the MOH remains unexplained.  While there is no obligation to post these daily reports - only to notify the WHO under the 2005 IHR - they demonstrate openness and transparency, which is always appreciated by the international community.

Hopefully, they will find a way to continue that practice.

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