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Friday, June 12, 2015

CDC warns U.S. doctors to watch for MERS.

MERS Chart From Saudi Arabia 2013.

CDC warns U.S. doctors to watch for MERS. HT: Croft.

Via, a CNN report: CDC warns U.S. doctors to watch for MERS. Excerpt:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefed U.S. healthcare providers by phone Thursday to put them on notice that MERS may be coming to an exam room near them via patients who have traveled to South Korea or countries in the Middle East.
The agency will issue a health advisory alerting health care providers about the signs and symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome, citing the potential for transmission from travelers from South Korea, where a MERS outbreak began in May. 
Health care providers were also reminded to ask their patients about whether they've traveled to South Korea or the Middle East, where the disease emerged in 2012
The MERS outbreak in South Korea is the largest outside the Middle East since the syndrome was identified three years ago. Since May 20, there have been 122 cases of the respiratory virus and 10 related deaths in South Korea. 
On the call, providers were asked to isolate suspected patients, follow protocols to protect themselves and to test for MERS without delay in patients with travel history to these areas. 
On paper, there is little to be afraid of, especially for healthy people in the community. MERS is essentially a nosocomial infection, one that spreads in the hospital setting and hits vulnerable people. Three-quarters of those infected already had respiratory illnesses. 
The precise way MERS spreads is not currently well understood, but it is likely via respiratory secretions, such as through coughing. However, the coronavirus is not highly contagious, and usually infects only people in close proximity. 
There are currently no known MERS cases in the United States, though two were reported last year. Both patients, who recovered, were health care workers infected while working in Saudi Arabia. Hmmm.....Viruses evolve constantly, i have this gut feeling this strain is different from the one seen in Saudi Arabia. 


As of Thursday, Korea has reported 10 MERS-related deaths. Over 3,800 are quarantined for possible infection.

FluTrackers Korean MERS-CoV Case List

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