Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Health authorities continue to document new cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Since April 2012, health authorities have confirmed more than 90 infections and 45 related deaths due to MERS-CoV, primarily in Saudi Arabia but also in France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Even so, officials maintain that the risk of person-to-person transmission is low and the World Health Organization has concluded that current conditions do not warrant a public health emergency. However, travelers visiting an impacted country should exercise proper vigilance and take the following precautionary measures:
- Understand that pre-existing medical conditions can increase the likelihood of contracting illnesses, including MERS-CoV. Consult your health care provider before traveling to impacted countries to understand the risks.
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water; when unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid contact with visibly sick individuals.
- Avoid undercooked meat or food prepared in unsanitary conditions.
- Properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming.
- Avoid large crowds when possible.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with animals.
- Be vigilant for symptoms of fever or respiratory infection. If signs develop within two weeks of travel, seek immediate medical attention and inform your doctor of any recent travel to affected countries. Minimize contact with others and alert local health authorities to assist with their MERS-CoV monitoring efforts .
CWT Program Messenger can reach travelers going to these locations with contextual, customized messaging via email or SMS. CWT will continue to monitor the situation and update clients about any further developments. If you have any questions about the information contained in this CWT Hot News, please contact your CWT representative.
Sources: iJET International, World Health Organization
For more information on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), please visit the the following URL to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/