Via the Saudi Gazette, an April 15 report: MERS does not spread easily between humans. Excerpt:
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus does not spread easily between humans and requires direct contact with an infected pneumonia patient, therefore no cases have been observed associated with crowds such as during Haj and Umrah or in schools and football stadiums, according to the Scientific Committee of Infectious Diseases.
The Health Ministry announced on Monday yet another death of a foreigner from MERS in Jeddah. The death of the 70-year-old man brought the MERS toll in the Kingdom to 69 fatalities. Four new cases of infection were registered, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 194, the ministry said.
Assistant Undersecretary of Ministry of Health for Preventive Health and a member the Scientific Committee of Infectious Diseases Dr. Abdullah Al-Asiri stressed that no hospital has been closed in Jeddah due to the virus. However, there has been coordination for directing some cases to other hospitals, he said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Monday.
This report is interesting for a couple of reasons: first, because it tells us that the latest death was that of a 70-year-old male foreigner. The usual terms for describing cases are "citizen" or "resident." "Foreigner" implies a visitor. At 70, this man was unlikely to be working. So he may have been a tourist or pilgrim. In either case, the Saudis wouldn't want to announce the fact.
The continued occurrence of transmission between humans in health care settings and in households is an ongoing concern. The outbreaks appear to be self-limited or extinguishable with rigorous implementation of appropriate infection control guidelines; however, it is likely that these will continue to occur until the primary route of transmission to humans is interrupted.