Monday, February 19, 2018

Saudi MOH Reports 2 MERS Cases


The Saudi MOH continues to only intermittently update their MERS-CoV surveillance and reporting page, with an update overnight dated the 17th, announcing 1 new MERS cases (74,F) from Rafhaa listed with `indirect camel contact'.
While `Direct camel contact' is fairly self-explanatory, indirect camel exposure has been defined as: Having visited settings where animals were kept but without having direct contact; or exposure to household members who themselves had direct animal exposure.
This definition covers a lot of possibilities, including asymptomatic transmission from a household member.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Saudi MOH has become increasingly sporadic in updating their surveillance page.   Previously, and for the past 5 years or so, the MOH has issued updates daily even when no cases, recoveries, or deaths were announced.

On this 19th day of February, the MOH has only posted 5 daily updates announcing 2 cases for the month, on their  English language portal.

But there's more.

The Arabic language list shows three more additional daily updates during February, with two containing cases not mentioned on the English side; one on the 9th, and another on the 16th

This latest case makes the second report for today.  
Unfortunately, being posted in a .jpg format, machine translation software won't work for these entries.  Both appear to be from in or around Riyadh, the most recent one with recent camel contact and the other without. 
While the Saudi MOH is under not obligation to publish these reports, they have been greatly appreciated, and their loss - like the cancellation of their Weekly MERS Monitor back in 2016 - would be sorely missed.

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