Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a corona virus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of these people died. So far, all the cases have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula*. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is no evidence of sustained spreading in community settings.
MERS-CoV is an emerging disease in the United States first imported on May 2, 2014. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.
*Countries considered in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring region include: Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.
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