Last April the new Saudi Minister of Health Adel bin Mohammed Faqih announced the appointment of Dr. Tariq Ahmed Madani, as a special MERS consultant to the Health Ministry (see HERE). Professor Madani – an infectious disease specialist - has a profile posted on the King Abdulaziz University website, which includes details of his discovery of a new viral hemorrhagic fever in 2001.
Last June Dr. Madani Announced the Start To Long-Awaited MERS Case Control Study, but we’ve yet to see that released.
For now, we have a Reuters report based on a recent phone interview by Dr. Madani, that provides some insight into their findings thus far on the MERS virus. I’ve excerpted some key points, but follow the link below to read the entire report:
- Camels, which are known to shed the virus, are likely responsible for about 3% of the cases to date.
- Human-to-human transmission, primarily in hospital settings, accounts for 97% of cases.
- Of 71 camels tested that were being imported from the Horn of Africa, none showed signs of the virus.
- Thus far testing has shown camel nasal secretions to carry the MERS virus, but not camel milk or urine
- And of 36 workers tested at a camel slaughterhouse, 58% had MERS antibodies, but none could recall a serious respiratory infection.
While fascinating revelations, and the sort of thing we’d expect to see from a formal case control study, hopefully we’ll see the results of the full study released in the near future.
The full article may be read at:
By Kate Kelland
LONDON Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:37am EST