Saturday, 21 June 2014

Adding in the recent MERS-CoV cases by chart...we're back to 2013

According to my personal list...

Total cases globally: 714
Total deaths globally: 225
Proportion of fatal cases (PFC): 31.5%

My data still do not include the found113 cases, reported by the Command & Control Centre of the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA; gasp) 3-June because they can't be included. They have no accompanying data apart from some of them not being confirmed/sent for confirmation, by a second laboratory. And we see how that rolls in the recent Bangladesh case hmm?

This is the latest version of the case per day charts. This have dropped to 1/case per day on some days, since 10-June. Since the 3-June, the majority of KSA dates refer to the date the case was reported (not illness onset, the preferred norm for this sort of epidemiology); dates from cases in other countries that have been filtered through eh team at the World Health Organization, are more rich in data (and include 2 of the recent KSA cases).

The trend line is not really needed but shows the steady and very linear decline in new MERS-CoV detections since the new new acting Health Minister Adel M. Fakeih, took over the MOH's reigns in late April.
Click on chart to enlarge.

Just for interest, here is the very same period from 2013. If you exclude the massive healthcare-associated outbreak that was Jeddah-2014, the cases numbers look identical. 

Click on chart to enlarge.

So now we're "back to normal" MERS-CoV detections, unless another outbreak bypasses infection control and lifts the numbers of course. I guess we now wait to hear the results from the new studies being conducted in the KSA and nearby countries. Hopefully these will better explain how "back to normal" works? Including addressing...

  • How cases keep ticking over? This will be better understood once we know what the transmission method(s) from camels to humans is(are) e.g. mucous, ingestion, aerosol, splashing, sideways glances or YouTube video creation
  • What the community seroprevalence is, both overall in the KSA and in the recent hotspots of MERS-CoV activity
  • How many camels are actively infected with MERS-CoV at any given time, how many are obviously showing signs of illness (runny noses etc) and is active infection mostly restricted to juveniles (as the research studies suggest) or can older camels be a source of human infection (less often suggested)
  • Are infected camels being imported into the Arabian peninsula from outside the peninsula (see today's Storify collection with questions and data from @influenza_bio by visiting reference [1])?
And many more questions for which I know of no specific studies under way, that may nonetheless address whether there are human infections that have been acquired from within countries with MERS-CoV infected camels other than those in the Arabian peninsula. These include Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya.