MERS-CoV update with Mike Coston
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak has really spiked in recent weeks, making it difficult for someone to keep track of all the details surrounding this very fluid, ever-evolving situation.
Fortunately, there is one journalist keeping an eye on this outbreak and all the events surrounding it. He is Mike Coston, and he runs the popular, long-running infectious disease blog, Avian Flu Diary.
Mike was my guest on today’s airing of the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show to help keep my audience and yours truly up-to-date on the latest happenings concerning this novel coronavirus.
Coston opened up the show with some breaking news about Saudi Arabia’s announcement of 10 additional cases–and this is exactly the hectic way the outbreak has been during the month of April.
As far as hard number, he could only guesstimate the number of cases and fatalities thus far, suggesting 350-360 and 95-100, respectively.
However, as he rightly points out, it’s not the numbers that matter as much as the trend, which shows an uptick in cases. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page. Coston refers a graph by Dr Ian MacKay that illustrates what is happening.
Also discussed was the World Health Organization statement released this week in response to the MERS spike. Coston notes that the statement from the global health agency said, “Approximately 75 percent of the recently reported cases are secondary cases, meaning that they are considered to have acquired the infection from another case through human-to-human transmission.”
Other topics discussed include MERS cases linked to the Muslim pilgrimage, Umrah, increases in “mild” cases and the removal of the Saudi Health Minister and the “remarkable” job Adel Faqi is doing, particularly not being a physician.
To keep up to date on the MERS outbreak, it is meticulously chronicled on Avian Flu Diary.