Friday 1 November 2013

MERS-CoV and the host: a serious disease of those with disease

Case total currently stands at 150 including 64 deaths (PFC of 43%), with the World Health Organisation's latest update adding in the recent death (their tally says 149/63) and the Oman case and a new death being reported from eastern Saudi Arabia. The details for this latest patient are (FT#152):
  • 56-year old male
  • Comorbidities
  • Contact of a previous case.
So, as the Oman case showed, transmission from a previous case can lead to mild illness. The Qatari case before that showed that a contact can be asymptomatic. This latest fatality highlights that under the right pre-existing disease conditions, even a 2nd "passage" of virus from a human to another human, can lead result in death. 

It's a very much about the health of the human host who acquires the virus, as we've seen all along with MERS and also among cases of influenza A(H7N9) virus infection.

The latest WHO update also notes that...

Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness. Diarrhoea is commonly reported among the patients and severe complications include renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with shock. It is possible that severely immunocompromised patients can present with atypical signs and symptoms.

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