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What a difference a day makes…South Korea now has 87 cases, 5 deaths. Superspreaders at work or just great reporting?

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The South Korea MOH has announced an additional 23 people confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection, bringing the total number of cases to 87.

  • 17 patients are associated with hospital D [Samsung hospital in Seoul], where case no. 14 sought care in the emergency room during the period 27-29 May 2015.
  • The remaining 6 patients had contact with case no. 16.
    • Four of them were in hospital F between 25-28 May 2015 on the same ward.
    • Two of them were in hospital E between 28-30 May 2015 admitted to a ward.

What are we seeing? Are we really seeing “explosive transmissions” related to 2-3 superspreaders when this hasn’t been observed before (or at least been reported before), or might be simply look around and you’ll find them? Is the government testing anyone with a pulse or are these real presenting cases? Either way, it is pretty interesting.

The recent Lancet Infectious Diseases, a nationwide serosurvey conducted between 1 Dec 2012 and 1 Dec 2013 estimated that almost 45,000 individuals had been infected with the MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia, whereas by 1 Dec 2013, there had been approximately 117 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection reported by Saudi Arabia, suggesting that reported cases represented the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of actual infections.

Time will tell. In the meantime, it is pretty interesting to watch.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(15)70090-3/fulltext

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