The Saudi Ministry of Health may be feeling some pressure. It's just issued an unsually long news release about the MERS cases in Jeddah, with a slightly defensive postscript about how they're doing everything by the book: Explanatory statement about the Corona virus and registration of cases of one virus (Corona) in Jeddah. The Google translation:
Further to recent announcements by the Ministry of Health on the monitoring of cases of pneumonia virus Corona when one of the doctors working in the province of Jeddah, which is equal now to heal and thankfully, the Ministry, it has, according to policies and procedures have to intensify the work of the epidemiological investigation of the disease were examined (356) sample of patients and contacts Over the past week. The tests showed positive (3) of the health workers, all of whom were in stable condition or have no symptoms and thankfully.
The Ministry announces that it has been monitoring the status of a citizen at the age of (70) years in the province of Jeddah and has a chronic illness when he moved to the mercy of God has shown screening household contacts with positive screening one of his sons and has no symptoms and thankfully.
In the same context, the ministry announced the death of a health worker, and God bless his soul, who previously announced his Corona virus in the province of Jeddah.
And re-emphasize that the mechanism of the ministry will continue its work in a scientific manner and follow-up monitoring and intensify awareness and commitment in ways that prevent infection followed globally in health facilities, according to the guidelines of the National Committee for Scientific Infectious Diseases and the World Health Organization.
This brings the Saudi MERS numbers to 167 cases and 66 deaths.
So the Jeddah health workers include the young male nurse who died plus three of his colleagues, who are either "stable" or asymptomatic. In either case, they are likely pretty unhappy about infection control as practiced in King Abdul Aziz Hospital.
In addition a 70-year-old man, not reported earlier, has contracted MERS and died, presumably in the same hospital. His son is positive but asymptomatic. Did the son contract MERS in the family home, or in the hospital?
Finally, the KSA MOH might want to review WHO's International Health Regulations, especially infection control in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. And would it kill the ministry to report dates of onset, dates of death, and where these people appear to have contracted the disease?
By all means go to Mike Coston's Avian Flu Diary for some very well-informed comment on the Saudi announcement.