Earlier today, I posted this WHO news release: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update. And I included this paragraph:
The patient is a 52 year-old man with underlying medical conditions. He visited Saudi Arabia from 20 to 29 March. He became ill on 25 March and visited a hospital in Jeddah. He returned to Jordan on 29 March and visited a hospital in Amman on the same day and on 2 April. He is currently in a stable condition. The concerned authorities in Jordan are in contact with the concerned authorities in Saudi Arabia to follow up on all close contacts of the case.
Tweeting in Arabic, Nurah Alamro has been thinking about the implications.
She wonders what happened to all the people this person was in contact with in Jeddah. She also wonders about the contacts the man had after leaving hospital: in Saudi Arabia, in the airport, on the plane home, and in Amman.
I have my questions too. What had the man been doing in Saudi Arabia before he fell ill on March 25, and were his symptoms those of MERS or something completely different? How long was he in hospital in Jeddah? Did he drop by the ER for a couple of aspirin and then go back to his hotel, or was he hospitalized? If so, for how long? What was his condition on release, and was he checked before boarding his flight?
He must have been feeling pretty bad if he checked himself right into a hospital in Amman on the day he returned. Where was he sitting on the plane, and are his fellow-passengers being traced?
And those are just the obvious questions; an epidemiologist could doubtless think of many more.