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MERS In Two Kuwait Travelers Raises Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary 23:30
November 13, 2013

Ministry of Health announced the Kuwaiti state registration of infecting a second "Corona" to a Kuwaiti citizen reach the 52-year-old newly feet of travel abroad and said his health is now reassuring.

The above translation describes the second confirmed MERS case (52 years old), which follows the announcement this morning of the first case (47M) who is in critical condition in Adan (see map).  Media reports noted that the first case had traveled in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), while the above case recently returned from “travel abroad”.  These are the first two reported confirmed cases in Kuwait, but they are not related.  The reporting of two cases who were independently infected and reported after return from travel abroad indicates each are linked directly or indirectly to the end of the Hajj.

These two cases follow reports of the first case (68M) reported in Oman (see map).  Media reports indicate that case had not traveled, but two relatives had just returned from a Hajj pilgrimage.  Moreover, United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a confirmed case (75M) in another Omani who had recently traveled to Abu Dabi.  His prior travel history was unclear, but the reporting of MERS in unrelated Omani’s shortly after the end of Hajj, raises concerns that these cases were linked directly or indirectly to the Hajj, through contact with Hajj attendees, travelers infected by Hajj attendees, or cases identified due to enhanced surveillance due to movement of Hajj pilgrims.

In addition, Qatar reported a confirmed case, who travel history was not described, which is also true for a case in Riyadh (72M).  Another KSA case (43M) was in Jeddah, which was linked to the detection of MERS in at least one of his camels.

These seven cases follow the report of a case (61F) from Madrid who traveled to KSA for the Hajj.  She developed symptoms shortly after her arrival in Mecca from Medina.  She sought medical treatment in Mecca and was diagnosed with pneumonia via x-ray.  She refused admission and traveled to Jeddah to her flight to Madrid.  She had breathing difficulties in flight, which required oxygen.  MERS was confirmed when she was hospitalized in Madrid.

Thus, the above 8 confirmed cases in Spain, Qatar, KSA, UAE, Oman, and Kuwait, which developed symptoms during or shortly after the end of the Hajj raises serious questions about the KSA Hajj surveillance which failed to confirm MERS in any pilgrim performing Umrah during Ramadan or traveling to Mecca and Medina for the Hajj.

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