The Saudi MOH, which last updated their MERS surveillance website on Sunday (see Saudi MOH Announces 7 MERS Cases Over 6 Days), posted two new daily reports (March 4th & 5th) overnight.
While no activity was reported for the 4th, on the 5th they report their 4th recent hospital acquired MERS Case in the Riyadh region. This time, it involves a 28 y.o. HCW who is listed in critical condition.
On the 26th, two patients (M 23 & M, 59) were listed as secondary hospital acquired cases, followed on March 1st by a 3rd patient (M, 65) on March 1st. They also report a single recovery of a patient from Hail.
While we haven't seen any extremely large (100+ cases) hospital outbreaks in the Kingdom in the past couple of years, smaller nosocomial outbreaks have been reported.
The WHO chart below compares the number of Community acquired vs. Hospital acquired MERS cases from 2014-2018.
While both have dropped markedly since 2014 - presumably due to better infection control and public education - the most dramatic decline has occurred in nosocomial outbreaks.
Although the overall trend in MERS cases is encouraging, and the virus has yet to spread efficiently in the community (see Study: A Pandemic Risk Assessment Of MERS-CoV In Saudi Arabia) - the virus continues to evolve - and so watch carefully for any signs of change in its behavior.