Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Saudi MOH Announces 1 MERS-CoV Case

UPDATED: My thanks to Crof who picked up 2 additional cases posted by the Saudi MOH (also dated the 20th), after I posted this morning's report
The secondary household contact in Jeddah is the second one reported from that city in the last week (see here).  A primary case in nearby Medinah is of note since this is the primary destination for religious pilgrims undertaking Umrah.


After a very spotty month of reporting in February (15 of 28 days), daily MERS updates from the Saudi MOH stabilized late last month, and while often delayed by several days, reports were posted for every day in the first two weeks of March.

As the report list from the MOH (below) shows, reporting has become a bit erratic again over the past week, with only 3 or the last 6 days posted.  While linked, the report of the 16th takes us to a blank page.

Although we are missing reports for the 18th and 19th, today the MOH is reporting a single case from Riyadh, that of a 43 y.o. male in critical condition with a history of recent camel exposure.


Exactly what is behind this recent erratic reporting from the MOH is unclear, but based on other sources (see WHO EMRO MERS-CoV Report - Feb 2018), the number and type of MERS cases in KSA appears to be normal, with 23 cases reported to the WHO in February, and 25 cases in January. 

Unknown are the number of mild, asymptomatic, or misdiagnosed cases in the community (see EID Journal: Estimation of Severe MERS Cases in the Middle East, 2012–2016) - but for now, we aren't seeing any signs of increased transmission of the virus on the Arabian Peninsula.

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