Wednesday, 4 September 2013

New MERS-CoV case, a death, in Qatar

The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports that a 56-year old female has died of MERS in Qatar, according to the Qatar's Supreme Council of Health (SCH).

This is the 2nd death from a Qatari-based infection and the 1st female case. She had several comorbidities. In this instance, comorbidities may serve as reminder that the apparent sex bias in MERS cases (more often males) may not be so much about the sex of the cases, but more about the possible bias towards (older) males with more comorbidities. While principally a respiratory disease, the respiratory virus causing MERS deals very harshly with those that already have a disease of some other sort. 

This brings the tally of MERS case to 111 with 51 deaths (PFC of 45.9%. NB. A recent ProMED listed the deaths at 1 more than they were generally accepted to be at that time. There has not been a WHO update since that so I'm sticking with 51.

Local health authorities have probably seen this already, but the impact of MERS may highlight a need to address the risk factors that drive the prevalence of underlying disease in males in this region.

My first source: FluTrackers