Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV.
Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed a severe acute respiratory illness. They had a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of people confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection have died.
Suspect case :
- A person with fever and community-acquired pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome based on clinical or radiological evidence.
- A hospitalized patient with healthcare-associated pneumonia based on clinical and radiological evidence.
- A person with:
- acute febrile (≥38°C) illness, AND
- body aches, headache, diarrhea, or nausea/vomiting, with or without respiratory symptoms, AND
- unexplained leucopenia (WBC<3.5×109/L) and thrombocytopenia (platelets<150×109/L).
- A person (including health care workers) who had protected or unprotected exposure to a confirmed or probable case of MERS-CoV infection and who presents with upper or lower respiratory illness within 2 weeks after exposure.
A probable case is a patient in category I or II above with absent or inconclusive laboratory results for MERS-CoV and other possible pathogens who is a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV case or who works in a hospital where MERS-CoV cases are cared for.
A confirmed case is a suspect case with laboratory confirmation of MERS-CoV infection.
Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Khalid Abulmajd
Healthcare Quality Consultant