Middle East respiratory syndrome, caused by a coronavirus
(MERS-CoV) . See also COVID19 and SARS.

Reported 2012.  More than 2000 cases so far, mostly related to Arabian peninsula, but a single case of MERS-CoV in a returning traveller led to an outbreak involving 186 cases across 16 hospitals in the Republic of Korea.

36% mortality, mostly people with co-morbidities. More than 2000 cases so far. 

One of WHO blueprint priority diseases – potential for serious outbreak, no treatment or vaccine (6-7 others: SARS, Crimean-Congo HF, Ebola, Lassa etc).

Incubation time 2-5 days but up to 14. Median onset to hospitalisation 4 days.

Risk factor appears to be camel contact – milk, meat, urine.


Management based on experience of SARS etc.

Infection control – negative pressure, dedicated staff, cleaning, PPE for suspected cases, self isolation for close contacts.