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Another Fatal Beta2c Coronavirus Case In Saudi Arabia
Recombinomics Commentary 20:15
March 3, 2013

The patient, a 69-year-old male, was hospitalized on 10 February 2013 and died on 19 February 2013. Preliminary investigation indicated that the patient had no contact with previously reported cases of NCoV infection and did not have recent history of travel.

The above comments from the March 6 WHO update describe another 2013 fatal beta2c case from Saudi Arabia, which increases the similarities between the current novel coronavirus outbreak and the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2002/2003.  The fatal cases raise concerns that the current surveillance is missing the vast majority of nCoV cases, which are not fatal.

All cases in 2013, as well as almost all 2012 cases since the summer, when the first confirmed case was infected, have been linked to Saudi Arabia, including one cluster of four (3 confirmed, 1 probable).  The detail on the 2013 cases in KSA has been limited.  The MoH indicated the earlier case (61F) developed symptoms abroad, but the country was not cited.  Similarly, media reports indicated WHO was trying to confirm two additional cases, but it is unclear if those cases were linked to the prior case, or if they included the case described today.

In 2002/2003 the explosion of cases was reported between mid-March and mid-May, including the global spread linked to the Metropole Hotel, which began in February, but not confirmed / reported until March.

More detail on the two most recent cases, as well as more sequences from the cases confirmed in 2012, would be useful.

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