Since the middle of March, 2014, more than 30 individuals have been infected with MERS-CoV in the city of Jeddah in Eastern Saudi Arabia as reported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Ministry of Health. Almost half of these cases have been officially reported in the past five days.
The official information provided by KSA on these cases is inconsistent. Onset dates after March 28, 2014, have not been reported for any the remaining 25+ cases. With the exception, of a father-son family cluster, few details are provided about the nature of the relationship between cases. Of these cases, 17 are reported as healthcare workers suggesting that many of these cases are a result of nosocomial infection. Four or five of these healthcare workers are reported as asymptomatic.
The cases range in age from 25 to 71 years old. The mean age is 40 years old and the median age is 33 years old. The infected individuals in Jeddah are on the average younger than previously reported cases from Saudi Arabia. The median age for all MERS-CoV cases in Saudi Arabia is about 50 with a median age 53.
As least five of the individuals in this outbreak in Jeddah have died, although most of the cases are still being treated. With an overall case fatality rate approaching 40% for reported MERS-CoV cases, more deaths can be expected from this outbreak.
With little information about onset dates and the relationship between cases is it difficult to determine whether this outbreak is continuing to grow.
Is a younger cohort being infected with MERS on the Arabian Pennisula?