Monday, 26 May 2014

MERS-CoV cluster in Al Qunfudhah...

5 cases in 4 days from a city we haven't seen prior MERS-CoV detection in (as far as I can tell) = a cluster.

The south western coastal city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is home to ~200,000 people[1].

While the cases have been asymptomatic when reported, the first, a 65-year old male (65M; was isolated at home [2]), came into contact with another case (see below) while at a government hospital. Which case that was and at what hospital, is unclear.

But there are other worrying issues here:
  • This city is in Makkah region, home to the 2 holiest Mosques and not a site in which anyone wants to see active spread of this virus again as we get closer to the Hajj; we don't want to see it spread anywhere at all of course.
  • FluTrackers has a thread on this (when don't they!?; my thanks to Sharon Sanders for pointing me to it) from 21-May and at least one of the 5 cases seems to be a teacher at a school in Al Quoz, 25 km south of Al Qunfudhah. No school-children have been reported positive to date though. The 4 cases after 65M were aged 25, 28, 25 and 45 - could some be teachers or are they all family of 65M? Family accompanied 65M to visit a relative in a Jeddah hospital (presumably the contact for 65M?). We no longer get any information from the KSA's Ministry of Health (MOH) about occupation, so one is left to guess...as usual. There seems to be mention of symptoms among some of these cases?
  • Could healthcare workers in Al Qunfudhah be among these younger asymptomatic (presumable) contacts of 65M?
This city may be seen written as Al Qunfudah, Qunfudah, Qunfutha, Kunfuda, Gonfodah or Gonfothah. I was helped out on the naming of this city recently - my thanks to @AmboceptorBlog


Sources...
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Qunfudhah
  2. http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/CoronaNew/PressReleases/Pages/mediastatement-2014-05-22-001.aspx
  3. http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/CoronaNew/PressReleases/Pages/mediastatement-2014-05-24-001.aspx
  4. http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/CoronaNew/PressReleases/Pages/mediastatement-2014-05-25-001.aspx
  5. http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/showthread.php?p=535788#post535788