Risk factors for primary middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus illness in humans, Saudi Arabia, 2014

Basem M. Alraddadi, John T. Watson, Abdulatif Almarashi, Glen R. Abedi, Amal Turkistani, Musallam Sadran, Abeer Housa, Mohammad A. Almazroa, Naif Alraihan, Ayman Banjar, Eman Albalawi, Hanan Alhindi, Abdul Jamil Choudhry, Jonathan G. Meiman, Magdalena Paczkowski, Aaron Curns, Anthony Mounts, Daniel R. Feikin, Nina Marano, David L. SwerdlowSusan I. Gerber, Rana Hajjeh, Tariq A. Madani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Risk factors for primary Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) illness in humans are incompletely understood. We identified all primary MERS-CoV cases reported in Saudi Arabia during March–November 2014 by excluding those with history of exposure to other cases of MERS-CoV or acute respiratory illness of unknown cause or exposure to healthcare settings within 14 days before illness onset. Using a case–control design, we assessed differences in underlying medical conditions and environmental exposures among primary case-patients and 2–4 controls matched by age, sex, and neighborhood. Using multivariable analysis, we found that direct exposure to dromedary camels during the 2 weeks before illness onset, as well as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and smoking, were each independently associated with MERS-CoV illness. Further investigation is needed to better understand animal-to-human transmission of MERS-CoV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Alraddadi, B. M., Watson, J. T., Almarashi, A., Abedi, G. R., Turkistani, A., Sadran, M., Housa, A., Almazroa, M. A., Alraihan, N., Banjar, A., Albalawi, E., Alhindi, H., Choudhry, A. J., Meiman, J. G., Paczkowski, M., Curns, A., Mounts, A., Feikin, D. R., Marano, N., ... Madani, T. A. (2016). Risk factors for primary middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus illness in humans, Saudi Arabia, 2014. Emerging infectious diseases, 22(1), 49-55. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2201.151340