Tuesday, 30 July 2013

MERS-CoV case and death confirmed by WHO....from 4-days ago?

The latest Disease Outbreak News (DON; they can be found here prior to archiving here) from the World Health Organisation announces that an 83-year from Asir region is positive for the MERS-CoV and another, previously identified case, died.

This is a great example of why tracking ID can make you think you're in a Doctor Who episode!

I reported these 2 cases (from other's sources) on July 26th...4-days ago. It was on the non-English version of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) website.  

Since then however, we have heard of possible death of this case and reference to 2 new cases - neither confirmed. 

Prior to last night, Down Under time, the latest update on the English version of the MOH site was July 18th. The July 25th update appeared yesterday, the 29th. So, I'm hopping in the TARDIS now to see if the death and new cases are confimred on Thursday, the 1st of August.

In the meantime, different media sources and blogs recirculate each others content, often from the earliest source - which makes it very hard to track cases using public data. 

Obviously this is why following trusted public health sources like the WHO, and FluTrackers (who have a policy of confirming using more than a single news report) is so important. 

But it can take longer to get the confirmation and in the meantime you and I will hear it the news from (many) other places.

Confused? Me too!