MERS CoV - Situation Update for 11 June 2015

18 Jun 2015

The Department of Health has issued the latest update on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and has advised that these updates will now be issued weekly until further notice.

As of 10 June 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) global case count was 1,271 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERSCoV, with a case fatality rate of 36 per cent, since the first cases were reported in September 2012. In the ongoing outbreak in the Republic of Korea, 108 cases, including nine deaths, have been reported.

GPs are reminded to consider the possibility of a MERS-CoV infection for all patients who have travelled within the Middle East within the last 14 days who present with symptoms resembling the flu or a respiratory tract infection. The WHO emphasises the need for universal application of standard infection control precautions, and transmission-based precautions when in contact with suspected cases, and that it is not possible to distinguish MERS-CoV from other respiratory infections.

The outbreak in the Republic of Korea, and two ongoing outbreaks in healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia have contributed to a general increase in MERS-CoV world-wide, but which is less dramatic than the increases seen in April to June 2014.

Information for GPs and the Situation Update are available from the Department of Health website.