Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or Coronavirus

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome- This is a pathological condition of the respiratory system, especially the lungs, which is caused by a virus mostly found in Middle Eastern Countries, called Coronavirus. An infection from this virus leads to symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or Coronavirus

What Is Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as stated is a viral infection of the respiratory system which was first reported to occur in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a virus called Coronavirus. Majority of people confirmatively diagnosed with this infection had severe respiratory illness which included fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. About 25% of people with this infection are known to have succumbed to this infection. So far, almost all the cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been found to occur in the Middle Eastern region. The virus is known to spread with direct contact with an affected individual; otherwise, there is no clear cut evidence to suggest its spread in a community setting.

What Is The Source Of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus?

There is no clear cut source to determine as to where the virus came from; however, it is assumed that it came from an animal source. This virus has also been known to affect animals like camels in Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, which suggests that this virus probably came from a camel. It is also assumed that the infection spread after close contact with camels although this information needs to be proved.

What Are The Symptoms Of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus?

In cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, initial symptoms are those of fever, cough, and breathing problems. Pneumonia is also a common finding in Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. There can also be instances of gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea. In cases of advanced stages of this disease, there can be respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. There have been reports of organ failures as well. There have been reports of about 30% of affected people having succumbed to this disease. This virus is more deadly in people with a compromised immune system and the elderly population.

How Does Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus Spread?

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or Coronavirus usually spreads from affected people to individual who have been in close contact with them. It can also spread to other people in hospital settings as well. At present, researchers have not observed any spread of this disease in the population. Majority of the cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been linked to countries in the Middle Eastern region and have been found in people who have either lived there or have been there of late.

What Are The Treatments For Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus?

At present, there is no clear cut cure for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Antiviral treatment is usually recommended for this disease and medical care can be sought for relief of symptoms. The present treatment is focused on protection of vital organs of the body so that they do not get adversely affected by the disease.

How Can Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Or Coronavirus Be Prevented?

At present, there is no vaccine available to prevent Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, although research is still ongoing.

The Center for Disease Control or the CDC routinely issues advisories to people traveling to the Middle East to take adequate safety measures to protect themselves from this virus:

  • People are told to wash their hands with water and apply soap to include children. One can even use a hand sanitizer.
  • Cover mouth with tissues while coughing or sneezing.
  • People need to avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands.
  • Avoid direct contact with people who have been sick.

NEWS ALERT (February 7, 2015):

3 People died and 4 others have got infected with Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia in the past few days. Out of a total of 852 cases since 2012, 365 people have died so far. MERS is transmitted from camels to humans, so it is advisable to avoid raw camel meat, unpasteurised camel milk and to use protective clothing like gloves and masks if they are around camels.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 1, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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