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(updated on 2015/08/13)

The seasonal outbreak in Saudi Arabia 沙特阿拉伯的季節性疫情

©2015 SpatioEpi.com
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group

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Since the report of first case of MERS-CoV infection in 2012, the newly discovered virus has continued to stay on. In Saudi Arabia, new cases were reported every month. As of the end of February 2015, a total of 920 cases have been reported in the country. The map shows the distribution of human cases in Saudi Arabia, while the graph illustrates the temporal change of reported cases since the beginning of 2013. There was clearly a peak in April and May 2014, during which a majority of known cases were found to be associated with human to human contacts. In the month of February in 2015, an upsurge was again noted. The human contact cases (light green bar in the chart) included also health care workers who got infected because of failure of infection control practice. Others could be traced back to exposure to animals (dark green bar). With improved diagnosis and surveillance, more cases have become characterized. The seasonal occurrence of MERS-CoV infections coincides with the timing of weaning of young camels, the host of the virus. It is therefore a concern that the new seasonal outbreak may continue to affect Middle Eastern countries in the ensuring months (March to May). World Health Organization has advised on enhancing surveillance and attention to infection control measure to prevent MERS-Co-V infection outbreak in healthcare settings. The global total of laboratory confirmed human cases has exceeded 1000. Data for the map were extracted from WHO and Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

2012年首次被發現的『中東呼吸綜合症病毒』,在中東地區爆發疫病後一直沒有消失過。沙特阿拉伯是重災區,每月都有報告新個案。截至2015年2月底,該國的確診案例已達920。地圖顯示沙特阿拉伯自2013年初起感染個案的分佈,圖表則反映每月新增人數。明顯地,2014年4及5月的感染人數急速上升,當中不少是人傳人感染。2015年2月,病毒感染再度爆發。人傳人個案(圖表淺綠條形)當中包含了醫療作者因感染控制措施不當而受影響,也有病者因為接觸動物(深綠條形)而染上病毒。由於診斷和監測工作較以前成熟,感染人士的情況亦比以往清晰。『中東呼吸綜合症病毒』的季節性爆發,相信和駱駝成長期有關,而駱駝是病毒的主要宿主。未來幾個月(3至5月)中東地區的病毒爆發確是令人擔憂。世界衛生組織呼籲加強疾病監測,建議多加注意感染控制措施的推行,將有助降低醫療環境『中東呼吸綜合症病毒』的擴散。現時全球已知確診個案已超越一千人,情況絕對不容許掉以輕心。地圖資料源自世界衛生組織及沙特阿拉伯王國衛生部。