Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a virus called Coronavirus – MERS-CoV.
First reported – April, 2012
Total infected – 244*
Total deaths – 79*
*As of 21st April, 2014 for Saudi Arabia
Why the sudden increase concern about MERS coronavirus ?
- There is no known cure for it
- Last six days have seen dramatic rise in number of MERS cases – 49 infections in 6 days!
What are the symptoms ?
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
- Sometimes Diarrhea
- Some case also Vomiting
Shortness of breath
How does it spread ?
Close contact with infected person.
Is there a vaccine or medicine for MERS ?
No, till date, there is no vaccine or medicine for protection against MERS.
How do I protect myself and my family ?
Risk of infection can be reduced by:
- Avoiding close contact with sick people. It is a good idea to avoid large crowds especially hospitals, malls and markets.
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
- As per consultant Dr. Hana at Dr. Solaiman Fakieh Hospital, wearing face mask reduces the risk by 80%. (See 4). However this point is negated by Director of Jeddah Health Affairs Sami Badawood (See 5).
Avoiding crowded places like malls
Washing hands regularly with soap and water
Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
What do I do if I am having the symptoms ?
- Elderly person and patients with chronic illness whose immune system is effected should contact immediately Healthcare facility upon noticing illness.
- Take antipyretic and painkillers medicine like paracetamol.
- Drink lots of water and juices and take rest
- Visit healthcare facility if you feel necessary or if symptoms persist or increase.
The Ministry will also provide free treatment for any MERS cases.
- Center for Diesease Control & Prevention, USA : http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/MERS/
- Ministry of Health, KSA : http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Pages/Default.aspx
- World Health Organization : http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/