Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection (MERS-CoV Infection)
Sandra Gonzalez Gompf, MD, FACP
Sandra Gonzalez Gompf, MD, FACP is a U.S. board-certified Infectious Disease subspecialist. Dr. Gompf received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami, and a Medical Degree from the University of South Florida. Dr. Gompf completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida followed by subspecialty fellowship training there in Infectious Diseases under the directorship of Dr. John T. Sinnott, IV.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) facts
- What is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)?
- What causes MERS? How is MERS transmitted?
- What are risk factors for MERS-CoV infection?
- What are MERS symptoms and signs?
- How is MERS-CoV diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for MERS-CoV?
- What is the prognosis of MERS?
- Is it possible to prevent MERS?
- Is there a vaccine for MERS-CoV?
- Where can people get more information about MERS-CoV?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) facts
- MERS-CoV is a new novel coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) first identified in Saudi Arabia in September 2012.
- MERS-CoV is a type of coronavirus, similar to the one that caused SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or the common cold. MERS-CoV has not been previously identified in humans. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats.
- The infection can be spread from person to person through respiratory secretions.
- Infected people have symptoms of a flu-like illness followed by an atypical pneumonia, including fever, dry cough, and severe shortness of breath. Gastrointestinal symptoms may also occur.
- Severely affected people experience respiratory failure and may need mechanical ventilation. Older people and those with underlying illnesses are at higher risk for severe disease.
- To date, there is a total of 91 confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 46 deaths. MERS-CoV infection should be suspected in returned travelers from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries with a illness with symptoms compatible with MERS-CoV occurring within 10 days of traveling.
- If there are grounds for suspicion, public-health authorities need to be alerted and will test respiratory secretions at CDC-designated laboratories.
- Similar to SARS, there is no medication that is known to treat MERS-CoV. Treatment is supportive.
- During the 2003 SARS outbreak, approximately 25% of people had severe respiratory failure and 10% died. In contrast, mortality in MERS is about 50%.
What is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)?
MERS-CoV is a newly identified coronavirus that can cause severe acute respiratory infection in humans. The first case of MERS-CoV infection was identified in the United Kingdom in September 2012 in a patient with recent travel history to Saudi Arabia. No cases have been reported in the United States. The confirmed cases of MERS-CoV originated from the following countries: Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Outside of the Arabian Peninsula, there have been reported cases of MERS-CoV infection among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with or members of the same household of the infected patients. MERS-CoV infection should be suspected in travelers who've recently returned from the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries with a compatible illness occurring within 10 days of traveling.
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