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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2018, Article ID 6725284, 9 pages
Research Article

Network Analysis of MERS Coronavirus within Households, Communities, and Hospitals to Identify Most Centralized and Super-Spreading in the Arabian Peninsula, 2012 to 2016

1Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
2Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar

Correspondence should be addressed to Oyelola A. Adegboye; moc.oohay@eyobgedaeyo

Received 13 November 2017; Revised 5 January 2018; Accepted 11 April 2018; Published 7 May 2018

Academic Editor: Leigh Anne Shafer

Copyright © 2018 Oyelola A. Adegboye and Faiz Elfaki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Contact history is crucial during an infectious disease outbreak and vital when seeking to understand and predict the spread of infectious diseases in human populations. The transmission connectivity networks of people infected with highly contagious Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia were assessed to identify super-spreading events among the infected patients between 2012 and 2016. Of the 1379 MERS cases recorded during the study period, 321 (23.3%) cases were linked to hospital infection, out of which 203 (14.7%) cases occurred among healthcare workers. There were 1113 isolated cases while the number of recorded contacts per MERS patient is between 1 () and 17 (), with a mean of 0.27 (SD = 0.76). Five super-important nodes were identified based on their high number of connected contacts worthy of prioritization (at least degree of 5). The number of secondary cases in each SSE varies (range, 5–17). The eigenvector centrality was significantly () associated with place of exposure, with hospitals having on average significantly higher eigenvector centrality than other places of exposure. Results suggested that being a healthcare worker has a higher eigenvector centrality score on average than being nonhealthcare workers. Pathogenic droplets are easily transmitted within a confined area of hospitals; therefore, control measures should be put in place to curtail the number of hospital visitors and movements of nonessential staff within the healthcare facility with MERS cases.