Friday, 21 March 2014

MERS in the UAE....[UPDATED]

For the second time this month, there has been a case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MES-CoV) infection confirmed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE; Abu Dhabi to be precise). 

What added to my confusion (as you'll know if you were following me on Twitter this morning) was that both cases, apart from being from Abu Dhabi, were also 68-year old males and both have had camel contact. 

Today's 68M UAE case frequently visited his camel farm in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA; had just returned from there 5-days earlier, thus in my mind making this a likely KSA acquisition) while the earlier 68M UAE case owns his farm in the UAE where he contacted animals including camels which he breeds.

This raises another question from me; why do we see proportionately more camel contact outside the KSA than we do inside the KSA (I haven't done the maths so this may just me my unfounded gut feeling)? Is it something simple like better epidemiological investigations conducted by Qatari and UAE investigators or are things, yet again, different somehow inside the KSA than they are outside the KSA? 

Surely there are some clues in there for investigators to use either to either improve how the epidemiology investigations are conducted or to look beyond camels in the KSA at other sources of acquisition?