Title: The global burden of premature mortality due to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) using standard expected years of life lost, 2012 to 2019
Authors: Maryam Salamatbakhsh, Kazhal Mobaraki, Sara Sadeghimohammadi & Jamal Ahmadzadeh
Background: It has been 8 years since the first case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was reported in Saudi Arabia and the disease is still being reported in 27 countries; however, there is no international study to estimate the overall burden related of this emerging infectious disease. The present study was conducted to assess the burden of premature mortality due to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) worldwide.
Methods: In this retrospective analysis, we have utilized publicly available data from the WHO website related to 1789 MERS patients reported between September 23, 2012 and May 17, 2019. To calculate the standard expected years of life lost (SEYLL), life expectancy at birth was set according to the 2000 global burden of disease study on levels 25 and 26 of West model life tables from Coale-Demeny at 82.5 and 80 years for females and males, respectively.
Results: Overall, the total SEYLL in males and females was 10,702 and 3817.5 years, respectively. The MERS patients within the age range of 30–59 year-olds had the highest SEYLL (8305.5 years) in comparison to the patients within the age groups 0–29 (SEYLL = 3744.5 years) and ≥ 60 years (SEYLL = 2466.5 years). The total SEYLL in all age groups in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 were 71.5, 2006.5, 3162, 4425.5, 1809.5, 878, 1257.5 and 909 years, respectively. The most SEYLL related to MERS-CoV infection was in the early four years of the onset of the pandemic (2012 to 2015) and in the last four years of the MERS-CoV pandemic (216 to 2019), a significant reduction was observed in the SEYLL related to MERS-CoV infection in the MERS patients.
Conclusion: We believe that the findings of this study will shed light about the burden of premature mortality due to MERS infection in the world and the results may provide necessary information for policy-makers to prevent, control, and make a quick response to the outbreak of MERS-CoV disease.
This timespace follows the World Health Organization's situation reports regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that started in Hubei, China, in January 2020. Cover photograph taken in Japan by Jérémy Stenuit.