New Diseases And National Transparency: Who Is Measuring Up?

Maryn McKenna | Wired | May 2, 2013

I’m still catching up on all the news that happened during the weeks I was away, and I had a food-policy post just about set to go today. And then this happened.

I opened my morning mail to find a note from a private list I subscribe to, published by a company that monitors hazards for businesses with expatriate employees. The note flagged new news from Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia: Seven more case of novel coronavirus reported
Seven people in Al-Ahsa governate in the Eastern province have been confirmed infected with the novel coronavirus. Five have died and the other two are critically ill in intensive care. It is unclear whether there are any links between these cases or whether they are “sporadic” infections. Overall the risk to travellers remains low.

This was odd. You’ll remember the new coronavirus, distantly related to SARS, which surfaced last year in a slow and not well-disclosed manner (for the back story, see these posts from last September, October, November and December). Since the initial reveal last year, there has been very little information released about the virus and whatever illness it might be causing. [...]