Sunday, 27 October 2013

MERS cases swell by 3, information scant...

Middle East respiratory (MERS) coronavirus cases in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have increased by 3 according to the latest Ministry of Health update. This brings the tally 147 with 62 deaths, a PFC of 42%. With the data we have, the median age of all cases is at 53-years and that of fatal cases sits at 60-years.

  • FT#147. 83-year old female. Contact of previous case. Comorbidities. Stable.
  • FT#148. 54y. Healthcare worker. Comorbidity. Stable.
  • FT#149. 49-year old. Stable.

Since the update doesn't have much detail to speak of, I'll focus on what the release does not have based on my earlier updated wishlist of useful details from the MOH:

  • Sex of cases (subsequently identified via Twitter)
  • Dates of onset
  • Dates of hospitalisation
  • Details of contacts
  • Type of comorbidities
  • Healthcare worker's role
  • Location of acquisition (just town)
  • Type of laboratory testing
  • Treatments/management
  • English translation
  • History of contact with animals, types (not detailed) of places visited or other possible exposures that may shed light on acquisition

None of these things would identify the cases (a justifiable concern of Dr Ziad Memish) but would be useful for researchers seeking to better understand the nature and track the spread of MERS. 

There may be clues within those details that alert researchers to a nugget that helps explain spread or acquisition or change in disease.

Thanks to Crawford Kilian's @Crof initial tweet and @HelenBranswell and @azizalhinde for clarifying sex of cases