Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) by week and month...

To follow up yesterday's daily numbers chart, here we have the number of MERS-CoV detections by week (Chart 1) and by month (Chart 2). 

Not a lot of change from my last posts of these 18-June and 23-June - we are currently in our 5th straight day without any new detections being reported - and prior to this drought, there had been very few other detections for a while so we can now very clearly see the Jeddah-2014 (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) major hospital-base outbreak peak's beginning and end.

We're also in the second half of Ramadan, putting us past the maximum likely incubation period for those visitors to the holy places that may have acquired MERS-CoV infection at the beginning go the month. A pretty good indication that MERS-CoV is not spreading among the community. It is still strange to me that a region that was yielding sporadic cases up until very recently, is now not yielding any such cases. Perhaps it's the improvements initiated under Dr Fakeih's watch, or maybe the hot, dry weather? It could be that camel contacts are reduced or that festivals are not as frequent in the extreme heat.  It would be great to see some scientific literature emerge on the Jeddah-2104 outbreak, on seroprevalence, on camel testing, gene/genome sequencing, studies of other animals or transmission investigations. Things have been very quiet on the publication front for some time now and we still know very little detail about the largest flurry of (known) cases to have occurred since 2012.

We'll wait and watch and see, I suppose.

MERS-CoV detections, worldwide (but mostly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), by week.
Click on chart to enlarge.

MERS-CoV detections, worldwide (but mostly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), by month.
Note the yellow star which highlights a 10-fold higher scale for 2014 y-axis (left-hand side) than in the 2013 numbers. Even 2014's puny June surpassed any month in 2013.
Click on chart to enlarge.