On his VDU's blog, Dr. Ian Mackay ponders the numbers as of March 18: MERS-CoV: sex, age and accumulating death. Click through for the full post and the charts he describes. Excerpt:
A few more charts, just to fill out the set for today's Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) update.
The first chart shows what everyone knows; MERS, as it has been for the past 2-years, is a severe disease principally of the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The route of human acquisition of MERS-CoV remains unknown and will not soon be discovered judging by the lack of any evident plan in the most recent Editorial on MERS-CoV from the KSA's lead author, Prof Ziad Memish. An even less addressed topic is why this disease has such an impact in this particular country given that neighbouring States share aspects of lifestyle, belief and habit.
The second chart reinforces that MERS, in the severe form we see in hospitals, is principally a disease of men (66% of all case are male; 77% among the fatal cases) aged 50 and above (median age is currently 53-years). Something this chart does not show is the that MERS-CoV is a particularly opportunistic virus causing serious disease and death particularly among those who present with an underlying disease (at least a third of cases have a comorbidity of some sort).
In the third chart we can see the human cases by month. Nothing to add for 2012 or 2013 but that steady climb in 2014 should be watched. Why is it there? Why, 2.04 years since we learned of MERS-CoV thanks to the endeavours of an Egyptian scientist named Dr Ali Zaki, are there no public conversations on what is/could/should be done to stanch the trickle of new infections and deaths? Will we see a take-off of cases in April 2014 as we did in 2013? What is happening in Riyadh (where most cases have been of late)? I've added in the Janadriyah festival too because why not?