Descriptive epidemiology and characteristics of confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in the Makkah Region of Saudi Arabia, March to June 2014.Ann Saudi Med. 2015 May-Jun; 35(3):203-9.AS
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Describe the epidemiology and characteristics of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which are essential for control and treatment.
We conducted a retrospective review of all cases of MERS-CoV reported in four cities of the Makkah Region from March to June 2014. Exposure factors and comorbid conditions were analyzed using Epi Info.
Analysis of the 261 cases revealed that the incidence peaked in mid-April 2014 and the fatality rate was 42%. Cough, fever, radiological evidence of pneumonia, and shortness of breath were identified as significant risk factors for a diagnosis of MER-CoV infection. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at a higher risk of acquiring MERS-CoV than non-HCWs. Males in Jeddah are at higher risk due to greater outdoor exposure while females in Taif are at higher risk due to domestic caregiving. Filipino nurses are at highest risk among all HCWs.
The findings indicate the need to screen all contacts of HCWs to improve MERS control and form public-private partnerships to investigate the true burden of MERS.