MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory disease. It is a new strain of coronavirus first identified by the Netherlands in 2012. A similar strain in the UK was identified by Public Heath England’s virus reference laboratories at Colindale. The virus was fully sequenced and detailed analysis indicates that the nearest relatives are bat coronaviruses.
Symptoms include fever and cough that progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In some cases, a diarrheal illness has been the first symptom to appear.
There is insufficient information to make generic treatment recommendations and patients have to be assessed on a case by case basis. There is no vaccine available for MERS-CoV.
NHS England in partnership with the Department of Health, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive reissued guidance on the use of surgical facemasks and FFP3 respirators, to be used when caring for patients with a suspected or confirmed infectious respiratory virus.
Visit the NHS England website for further information