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MERS-CoV Taif Death Increases KSA Death Total To 29
Recombinomics Commentary 01:00
June 16, 2013

Died today in a hospital of King Abdul Aziz Specialist Hospital in Taif Saudi elderly at the age of 65 years after being infected with the "Corona", the deceased was suffering from chronic diseases.

The sources pointed out that there are other cases infected with Corona Hospital, another Saudi woman at the age of 68 years and is currently lying in intensive care and are subject to medical follow-up

The above translation provides an update for the two recently confirmed MERS-CoV cases in Taif (see map).  One case (65F) has died, increasing the death toll in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to 29. 

Although there are currently 46 confirmed cases, only 7 have recovered, while 10 remain hospitalized on life support.  The case fatality rate (CFR) for cases with outcomes is now at 81%.  This rate is markedly higher than MERS-CoV onward transmission cases outside of the Middle East.  Three of the cases (1 in England and 2 in Tunisia) have recovered without treatment or hospitalization, while two in Italy recovered after a brief hospitalization.  The only death had a serious underlying condition (brain tumor), and one case in France) remains hospitalized.

The dramatic difference in the CFR for cases with outcomes in the KSA, and those were infected in England, France, Tunisia, and Italy, raises concerns that KSA testing is largely focused on hospitalized cases, and milder cases, including contacts, are largely missed.

The above two cases in Taif are near Mecca and raise serious concerns about the influx of pilgrims into western KSA while performing Umrah during Ramadan, which begins July 9.  Milder cases may not be detected and may spread MERS-CoV worldwide via commercial airline as was noted for exported cases in England, France, Tunisia, and Italy as well as SARS-CoV in 2003.

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