Thursday, 19 September 2013

3 new MERS-CoV cases, 2 deaths tally at 135

Three new cases were reported from the (Arabic, not English yet) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Ministry of Health (MOH) website and details of the entire list can be found on FluTracker's website of confirmed cases. The tally sits at 135 confirmed cases. There may, or may not, be a chunk of other cases ("probables") but they have not been confirmed.

Today's cases all had comorbidities and were (FT-FluTracker's case numbering system):

  • FT#133: 75-year female (75F), contact of a case in Medina, death
  • FT#134: 35M contact (Mkhalt=male contact; hat-tip Helen Branswell) in intensive care
  • FT#135: 83M, Riyadh, death
Declan Butler has a nice article preempting the MERS-CoV birthday "celebrations" that is good summary, as was Helen Branswell's article earlier in the week, These show just how obvious the poor progress on some key aspects of MERS-CoV research have been. Is the slow progress due to a system that does not utilize its own Universities and research infrastructure  does the KSA not have such capacity? I don't know. But the lion's share of the MERS-CoV work does seem to await off-shore advice and direction. Principal research direction does not seem to originate from within the hot-zone of viral emergence and this may be a key difference between the rate of early progress in understanding the emergence of the MERS-CoV compared to that of SARS-CoV, H1N1pmd09, H7N9 or many other viral outbreaks.

Thanks to @HelenBranswell for input on sex of 83[M]