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Disease Onset Gap Signals Betacornavirus H2H Transmission
Recombinomics Commentary 05:45
November 24, 2012

Chaib said if there was human-to-human spread in this case it looks like it petered out. She said work is underway to try to tease out whether the people were all infected from a single non-human source, or if one member of the household picked up the infection and passed it along.

"The timing of the cases in the Saudi cluster does raise that concern but when a cluster occurs in a setting such as a household where everyone has similar environmental exposures it can be very difficult to separate out exposure to the same environmental source versus spread from one person to another," she said.

The above WHO comments acknowledge the gap in betacoronavirus disease onset dates between the Riyadh family members.  This gap was also suggested in an updated AP report which noted that the fatally infected son of the fatally infected father was hospitalized after the father died, suggesting the father infected his son.  Both cases died after thye developed renal failure.  The novel betacornavirus has been confirmed in the son, while the father is still under investigation.  However, the renal failure and death in both cases leaves little doubt that both were infected with the same novel coronavirus.

The renal failure in severe and fatal cases was also seen in the 2002 SARS CoV outbreak.  These similarities leave little doubt that the coronavirus is transmitting human to human (H2H) and is far more widespread and common than the six confirmed and two suspect cases in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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