Saturday, February 02, 2019

Saudi MOH Announces 15th & 16th MERS Case Of 2019


The recent uptick in Saudi MERS cases continues with their 5th & 6th case of Epi Week #5 - one with camel contact from Riyadh, and one from Al Kharj, located about 80 km south of Riyadh - which is reported as a secondary, healthcare-acquired infection.

The obvious question, since we haven't any primary cases reported in quite some time from Al Kharj, is the source of this infection.  The revised, and far less informative format of reporting adopted by the Saudi MOH last fall also doesn't tell us whether this is a patient or a healthcare worker, or the patient's condition.

So far in  2019, the Saudi capital of Riyadh has reported 9 MERS infections; 8 of which had no reported camel contact.
With at least 18 cases reported during January (possibly more, since we don't have onset dates for these latest cases), this is the highest number of monthly MERS cases reported globally since August of 2017.
Thus far we haven't seen any MOH or WHO updates on Oman's 4 cases reported earlier this week, or on the apparent cluster of community acquired cases reported on Thursday from Wadi Aldwasir in Saudi Arabia.

While the number of cases reported remains low - particularly compared to what was reported in 2014 and 2015 - and the locations remain scattered, we do seem to be seeing more clusters being reported over the past 6 weeks.
While none of this is particularly alarming, six clusters in as many weeks is a bit unusual. Hopefully we'll get some more detailed updates on these clusters in the days ahead. 

Stay tuned. 

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