Tagged: MERS

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Global Travel Raises Concerns for Spread of Disease from the Arabian Peninsula

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a novel Coronavirus in the same family as the Coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), has caused 339 illnesses and 102 deaths in Saudi Arabia .  However, the WHO has only reported 262 laboratory-confirmed cases.  Six Middle Eastern countries have reported MERS (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait) and 5 other countries have reported traveler-associated MERS cases (United Kingdom, France, Tunisia, Italy, Malaysia).  On May 2nd, the United States became the 6th county to report a traveler-associated MERS case.  According to the CDC, an American healthcare worker flew back to the US from Saudi Arabia on April 24th, connecting in London and Chicago before taking a bus to Indiana.  He is currently hospitalized and in stable condition.  US Public Health officials are tracing the US MERS patient’s travel itinerary and attempting to contact other travelers who may have been in close contact with the affected individual.  Currently, the US government has not issued any warnings to travelers to avoid the affected countries or to change travel plans.

Continue reading