The MERS-CoV Infection-Risk and Precaution Suggestion


MERS-CoV, which was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012, is thought to have originated in bats, and occasionally jumps to humans through probably camels. An outbreak in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the spring of 2014 leaded to 255 people becoming infected, and a cluster of infections in 2013 at a hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia.




South Korean’s MERS-CoV outbreak has brought the confirmed death number to 108 people. More than 2,800 people remain quarantined and more than 2,000 schools remain closed. MERS-CoV virus infection between humans mainly occurred in hospitals and contaminated by close contact with confirmed patients. Most of the deaths in South Korea have been is older patients who were in hospital for treatment of other illnesses, or infected healthcare workers who were processing the treatment. WHO Emergency Committee claimed a statement on this June revealed main factors leaded to spread of MERS-CoV in the Republic of Korea were:


1. lack of awareness among health care workers and the general public about MERS;

2. suboptimal infection prevention and control measures in hospitals;

3. close and prolonged contact of infected MERS patients in crowded emergency rooms and multibed rooms in hospitals;

4. the practice of seeking care at multiple hospitals ( “doctor shopping”);

5. the custom of many visitors or family members staying with infected patients in the hospital rooms facilitating secondary spread of infections among contacts.


Precaution Suggestion

A Interim guidance from WHO provides a suggestion that: ‘’standard Precautions include hand hygiene and use of relevant PPE depending on risk of direct contact with patients’ blood, body fluids, secretions (including respiratory secretions) and non-intact skin.’’


All staffs and visitors who entering the patient placement should be worn to wear protective clothing, according to an advice from the U.K. government, which including:

1. Long sleeved, fluid-repellent disposable gown,

2. Non-sterile surgical gloves,

3. An FFP3 respirator conforming to EN149:2001 to be worn by all personnel carrying out clinical care, visitors or staff in the room during aerosol-generating procedures. Fit testing must be undertaken before using this equipment and a respirator should be fit-checked every time it is used. A poster outlining how this is done is available – this is being updated by the Department of Health.

4. Eye protection.





WHO statement on the ninth meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV

WHO Interim guidance

The U.K. government