DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20172806

MERS: an emerging disease of the 21st century

Mohamed Osman Bala, Mohamad Abdel Halim Chehab, Nagah Abdel Aziz Selim

Abstract


Between September 2012 and March 2017, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), caused by an infection with the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has been responsible for 1,931 laboratory-confirmed cases and at least 741 related-deaths. Despite the paucity of knowledge on the source and route of transmission, the evidence currently points to dromedary camels. Moreover, the incubation period for this disease ranges from two to sixteen days. The symptomatology of MERS-CoV is non-specific and cases are easily misdiagnosed. As most respiratory illnesses, no specific anti-viral therapies have been effective to date for the treatment of MERS. Currently, the WHO does not advise any travel or trade restrictions regarding MERS-CoV. However, the poor practice of infection control has reflected the association between the healthcare setting and the spike of disease occurrence, especially among patients. Interestingly, the adoption of the “one health” approach is critical to establish a more holistic understanding of this epidemic. Additionally, implementing strategies aimed at risk reduction of animal-to-human transmission, rapid case finding, adequate infection control, and contact tracing are key in the control and prevention of MERS-CoV. 


Keywords


Emerging, Coronavirus, Epidemic, Travel

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References


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