Estimating Potential Incidence of MERS-CoV Associated with Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, 2014

Justin Lessler, Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer, Derek A T Cummings, Tini Garske, Maria Van Kerkhove, Harriet Mills, Shaun Truelove, Rafat Hakeem, Ali Albarrak, Neil M Ferguson, MERS-CoV Scenario Modeling Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Between March and June 2014 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) had a large outbreak of MERS-CoV, renewing fears of a major outbreak during the Hajj this October. Using KSA Ministry of Health data, the MERS-CoV Scenario and Modeling Working Group forecast incidence under three scenarios. In the expected incidence scenario, we estimate 6.2 (95% Prediction Interval [PI]: 1-17) pilgrims will develop MERS-CoV symptoms during the Hajj, and 4.0 (95% PI: 0-12) foreign pilgrims will be infected but return home before developing symptoms. In the most pessimistic scenario, 47.6 (95% PI: 32-66) cases will develop symptoms during the Hajj, and 29.0 (95% PI: 17-43) will be infected but return home asymptomatic. Large numbers of MERS-CoV cases are unlikely to occur during the 2014 Hajj even under pessimistic assumptions, but careful monitoring is still needed to detect possible mass infection events and minimize introductions into other countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS Currents
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    Lessler, J., Rodriguez-Barraquer, I., Cummings, D. A. T., Garske, T., Van Kerkhove, M., Mills, H., Truelove, S., Hakeem, R., Albarrak, A., Ferguson, N. M., & MERS-CoV Scenario Modeling Working Group (2014). Estimating Potential Incidence of MERS-CoV Associated with Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, 2014. PLoS Currents, 6. https://doi.org/10.1371/currents.outbreaks.c5c9c9abd636164a9b6fd4dbda974369