Friday, 6 September 2013

MERS-CoV and deaths rise....[UPDATE]

The latest Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Ministry of Health (MOH) announcement (Arabic only for now) provides scarce detail on 4 new cases including 2 deaths.

  1. 30-year old, Riyadh, health care worker (HCW), in an intensive care unit (ICU)
  2. 47-year old, Hafr Al Batin, multiple comorbidities, contact ("Mkhalt") of another case, in an intensive care unit (ICU)
  3. 41-year old, Riyadh, HCW, fatal infection
  4. 79-year old, [construction worker=Harf al Batin-place name], multiple comorbidities, contact of another case, fatal infection

The last case on that list is particularly interesting* for their role as a contact, who died. Generally, the second "passage" of infection to a new human host has not been as severe as the first. This once again draws attention to the role of underlying disease (comorbidities) in making any infection, even one that has gone through a human host, fatal.

There are no data on the sex of cases, when the fatal cases were admitted to hospital, or any indication at all of a date of disease onset.

After Wednesday's post of the plateau that ceased after umrah, I would be very interested to know how many recent cases has recent travel with a common destination.

The MERS-CoV lab-confirmed case tally now sits at 115 with 54 deaths (proportion fatal 47%)


*It's very sad that there are real people in these numbers who have died from MERS. You may have noticed that I try and stick with the cold number-crunching aspect of these outbreaks. It's not because I'm a heartless b&^$# but because that is not what this blog is about. That and my editorialisation and expositionary writing consume what little time I have spare. But I don't feel that I have enough information to make any other comments about these or any other lives lost to infectious disease. I personally feel that any unexpected and acute loss of life (if I had to scale loss of life) is the worst kind of loss; it's a waste of potential, a source of great sorrow for all involved and it's something we should all strive to prevent, if we can. I know that's not much to convey, but it's all I can offer from my kinda comfy chair in Brisbane.