What is MERS?
MERS Stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It is a viral repiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
In May 2015, South Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS.
What is MERS Cov and how is it different from MERS?
MERS Cov is an acronym for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. It is the virus that causes MERS. Hence, MERS refers to the illness while MERS Cov refers to the virus.
MERS Cov is seen in humans and camels.
What are the symptoms?
- Fever, cough and shortness of breath
- Other possible symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and kidney failure.
- Severe complications include pneumonia and kidney failure.
What is the incubation period?
Incubation period is the time from exposure to the virus to the time the first signs or symptoms appear. It is usually about 5-6 days, but can range to 2-14 days.
How is it transmitted?
MERS-Cov is thought to spread from an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as through coughing.
MERS-Cov has spread from ill people to the others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person.
How do we prevent getting MERS?
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with tissue paper when you cough or sneeze. Dispose used tissue paper immediately and properly.
- Avoid touching your face, especially the eye area, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
- Avoid personal contact, such as kissing or sharing cups or eating utensils with sick people
- Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces(e.g. door knobs, handles)
Is there a vaccine to prevent MERS?
Currently, there is none.
What is the treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for MERS-Cov infection. Individual infected can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, current treatment includes care to support vital organ functions.