Thursday, 27 February 2014

Coming back to MERSerable data...

A grab of the past 20 MERS-CoV positive human cases reported
by a Ministry and listed over FluTracker's if you want to look in
more detail. Even though the tally goes to 191 - there are 186 total
cases
(some have been removed after being reduced in status to
probable cases). Under the FluTracker Case # banner, a pink fill
indicates a death. A pale blue fill under the Sex column indicates that
the World  Health Organisation (WHO) have reported the cases through
their Global (GAR) Disease Outbreak Notice (DON) website.
Click on image to enlarge.
I'm preparing a brief invited talk on MERS and MERS-CoV for next week at the Molecular Microbiology Meeting in Sydney

So I'm updating MERS-CoV data - 4 cases since last I did this. And the data remain as horrible as the last time I complained

The figure above highlights just how horrible. Have a look at:

  • How many data gaps there are for sex (a very basic piece of demographic information to provide without comprising patient identity)
  • How many data gaps there are for date of illness onset
  • The absence of any KSA unique identification codes (there were 4 provided in August...and that was that)
  • How many dates of hospitalisation there are
I'll throw up some new charts shortly but really, they will reflect these data gaps.

But really, this has all been said before so I won't rehash my disappointment too much. 

Except to say..

It isn't at all surprising to read a comment like that from Prof Ian Lipkin recently. This being in the context of his unreciprocated collaboration with the Kingdom's Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Ziad Memish...
We've gone our separate ways, and I wish him well
...which may also inform us about why the collaboration between the MOH and the World Health Organisation (WHO) produces such spartan data on MERS cases, at least when you compare the quality of data to that which China provide WHO on avian influenza A(H7N9 virus cases; a much larger undertaking involving a more populous State and many more geographic and political boundaries.