Middle East respiratory syndrome in Morocco: four years of surveillance and evaluation of the management of suspected cases

Tahar Bajjou, Khalid Ennibi, Idriss Lahlou Amine, Farida Hilali, Abdelilah Laraqui, Safae Elkochri, Yassine Sekhsokh


Background: In early 2014, Morocco took steps to prevent the Middle East respiratory syndrome disease from entering into the country. Several facilities have been equipped to accommodate suspected cases. We aimed to report the plan prepared by Morocco to prevent the importation of this infection and to evaluate our experience in the monitoring of suspected cases.

Methods: We analyze the data on the forms of surveillance witch collect demographic informations, symptoms, hospitalization, travel history, risk contacts and MERS-CoV test results.

Results: Since 2014, 152 patients were addressed to the Mohammed 5 Military Teaching Hospital for suspicion of MERS-CoV. The compliance with the suspect case definition was positive in 78 cases. Of these patients, 93.6% were Moroccans. All of them came from the Middle East and 77% returned from a Hajj trip. The most reported symptoms were fever (92.3%) and cough (84.6%). The most reported underlying conditions were asthma (17.9%) and diabetes (12.8%). All of these patients were negative for RT-PCR detection of MERS-CoV.

Conclusions: Moroccan pilgrims go to Hajj despite the warnings of the WHO. To date, Morocco has not reported any cases of MERS-CoV. Overall, the management plan to prevent importation and transmission of MERS-Cov is satisfactory.


MERS-CoV, Surveillance, Management, Suspected, Cases, RT-PCR, Morocco

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