Friday, November 29, 2019

Saudi MOH Announces 200th MERS Case Of 2019


While 2019 is far from the most active MERS year we've seen, with more than a month left to go Saudi Arabia has already reported its 200th case, which is more than a 40% increase over all of 2018 (n=142).

Today's case (Epi Week 48) involves a 48 y.o. male - listed as a primary case with recent camel contact - from Medinah.

This is the 12th case reported by KSA during the month of November.

Last summer, in The Global Seasonal Occurrence of MERS-CoV, we looked at a study that pegged June as the top month of the year for MERS cases (while January, July and November were the lowest).

These are averages, and not every year follows this pattern.  This year, for example, we saw more cases reported in July (n=9) than in June (n=7) or August (n=6) (note: reporting delays can sometimes skew when cases are reported).
While MERS-CoV hasn't taken off the way that SARS did 16 years ago, we've seen studies (see A Pandemic Risk Assessment Of MERS-CoV In Saudi Arabia) suggesting the virus doesn't have all that far to evolve before it could pose a genuine global threat.
As long as the virus continues to spill over from camels into the human population, that threat will continue.