Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this report in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease: Predictors of MERS-CoV infection: A large case control study of patients presenting with ILI at a MERS-CoV referral hospital in Saudi Arabia. The summary:
A case control study to better characterize the clinical features, laboratory, and radiological abnormalities associated with MERS-CoV infection in order to help with early identification of this syndrome from other respiratory infections.
Eighty patients admitted to a hospital in Riyadh, diagnosed with MERS-CoV infection based on RT-PCR were matched on age, sex, and the presence of a co-morbid condition on a basis of 1:2 to other patients admitted with respiratory symptoms and tested negative for MERS-CoV on RT-PCR.
None of the reported MERS-CoV presenting symptoms was significantly associated with being infected with MERS-CoV. On the other hand, WBC count was significantly lower in patients with confirmed MERS-CoV infection (median 5.7 vs 9.3, P: 0.0004). Neutrophil count was as well significantly lower in MERS-CoV patients (median 3.7 vs 6.7, P: 0.0001). Both AST, and ALT values were significantly higher in MERS-CoV infected group (AST median 42 vs 36, P: 0.03, and ALT median 33 vs 28, P: 0.003).
Overall our MERS-CoV mortality rate was(10%) below the national figure of (40%).
None of the presenting symptoms are specific for MERS-CoV infection. And out of all the investigations WBC, neutrophil counts, AST and ALT values have some predictive utility.