CDC Updates Guidance for Evaluation of Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with MERS-CoV

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to better understand the public health risks posed by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To date, no cases have been reported in the United States.

On Aug. 14, 2013, the CDC issued an alert to provide updated guidance regarding who should be tested for MERS-CoV infection, to make healthcare providers aware of changes to CDC’s “probable case” definition, and to clarify what specimens should be obtained when testing for MERS-CoV.

To read this updated guidance, CLICK HERE.

MERS-CoV, formerly called novel coronavirus, is a beta coronavirus that was first described in September 2012. As of Aug. 12, 2013, 94 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported to WHO. Of those cases, 49 percent (46) were fatal. All diagnosed cases were among people who resided in or traveled from four countries (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, or Jordan) within 14 days of their symptom onset, or who had close contact with people who resided in or traveled from those countries. Cases with a history of travel from these countries or contact with travelers from these countries have been identified in residents of France, the United Kingdom, Tunisia, and Italy. To date, no cases have been reported in the United States.

The most up-to-date details about the number of MERS-CoV cases and deaths by country of residence are on CDC’s MERS website at: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html

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