12 months ago I blogged an alert about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS- CoV)
The BBC have broadcast that there is a further outbreak In South Korea following a businessman travelling from the Middle East to South Korea and a further traveller has been diagnosed following travel to Hong Kong and China. Although there seem to be greater concerns about how this is affecting the economy in South Korea!
The WHO suggest countries, whether or not MERS cases have been reported in them, should maintain a high level of vigilance, especially those with large numbers of travellers or migrant workers returning from the Middle East.
Since May 2015, an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus has affected South Korea. The virus, which causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), is a newly emerged betacoronavirus that was first identified in a patient from Saudi Arabia in April 2012.
As of 12 June 2015, there were 126 known infections in/from the country and 11 people have died from this outbreak. 2,208 schools have been temporarily closed, including 20 universities.3,800 people have been placed in isolation at home or at government designated facilities.
Here are things you should know about MERS:
as published by World Health Organisation – fact sheet 401 http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/ – to get any further updates
- Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
- Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.
- Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS have died.
- Although the majority of human cases of MERS have been attributed to human-to-human infections, camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.
- The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient.
- There are no treatments and no vaccine.