Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV)

In light of the recent largest outbreak of MERS-CoV outside of the Arabian Peninsula in Korea, the CDC has issued Health Advisory including an update of the criteria for a Patient Under Investigation for MERS-CoV to add – “A history of being in a healthcare facility (as a patient, worker, or visitor) in the Republic of Korea within 14 days before symptom onset.” Only two patients in the U.S. have ever tested positive for MERS-CoV infection, both in May 2014, while more than 500 have tested negative.

The CDC has also issued updated Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This updated guidance continues to recommend standard, contact, and airborne precautions. In addition, the updated infection control guidance emphasizes additional elements of infection prevention and control programs that should be in place to prevent the transmission of any infectious agents including respiratory pathogens such as MERS-CoV in healthcare settings.

CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. CDC recognizes the potential for MERS-CoV to spread further and cause more cases globally and in the U.S. We have provided information for travelers and are working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for this.

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