Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The MERS (coronavirus) can spread person to person

There has been an outbreak of a corona virus in SaudiArabia, with a few people leaving there and dying elsewhere.

WIKIPEDIA article 

It is not yet known if the infections are the result of a single zoonotic event with subsequent human-to-human transmission, or if the multiple geographic sites of infection represent multiple zoonotic events from a common unknown source. Among animal reservoirs, CoV has a large genetic diversity yet the samples from patients suggest a similar genome, and therefore common source, though the data are limited. It has been determined through molecular clock analysis, that viruses from the EMC/2012 and England/Qatar/2012 date to early 2011 suggesting that these cases are descended from a single zoonotic event. It would appear the MERS-CoV has been circulating in the human population for greater than one year without detection and suggests independent transmission from an unknown source
translation: Probably from an animal but no one knows which one.

The problem? If it starts spreading from person to person, we will be faced with another SARS epidemic.

And today's GMA reports one of our Pinay nurses died of the disease in late August (and that another filipina who was a patient at that hospital has since recovered).

A 41-year-old female Filipino nurse died of MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia last month, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.

The Filipino, whose identity was not disclosed, is the first reported fatality from the Philippines. She died at a hospital in Riyadh last August 29.

A medical report obtained by the Philippine Embassy says the deceased “tested positive for the coronavirus before her death,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told a press briefing.

The hospital’s VIP ward supervisor said prior to her death, the Filipina went to the United States for a vacation on July 13. She returned to Riyadh on July 19 and reported for work on July 21.

In mid-August, she complained of fever and coughing and developed respiratory distress. She was put on a ventilator on Aug. 22.

Two days later, she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and had to be transferred to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

The part about being in the US is a red herring (no SARS here, but it did make the differential diagnosis have MERS patient?

Or were there patients in the area, where air flow could have spread the virus?

(this happened in SARS, where a case in Hong Kong infected his apartment building, and in Germany, where a smallpox case infected those on a different floor of the hospital).

I should note that there are a million Filipinos in Saudi, which has a population of 19 million locals and 8 million foreign workers.

the WHO does not consider it a threat...yet. more HERE.

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