What is MERS-CoV? Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Earlier this evening, the Department of Health issued the following statement regarding MERS-CoV:
An OFW who had contact with the OFW who died of MERS-CoV in United Arab Emirates arrived in the country yesterday. He tested positive on the nose swab examination in UAE but completely no symptoms. The Embassy of the Philippines in UAE informed DOH and DFA immediately of the results. Upon arrival in the airport, DOH and Bureau of Quarantine put him in isolation with his family and everyone who has had contact with him within the past 24 hours. We also re-tested him and the result will come out in Friday. We are also performing an intensive contact tracing and public information. Our 2 specialists to UAE are set to leave anytime soon. Sec Ona
Later, DOH issued a health advisory explaining what MERS-CoV is.

What is MERS-Corona Virus (CoV)?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (CoV)."

The earliest MERS-CoV was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

It is not the same virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronavirus found in bats.

Recent studies have shown that the MERS-CoV was detected in camels and one infected camel case had been linked to a human case. However, the route of infection is still unknown.

Where are MERS-CoV infections occurring?

Twelve countries now have reported cases of human infection of MERS-CoV. Most of the cases are coming from the Middle East.

What are the signs and symptoms of MERS-CoV?

  • Acute, serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing.
  • Some people may present gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea and some with kidney failure.
  • Asymptomatic illness has also been reported.

How does one prevent MERS-CoV?

Frequent handwashing is the key to its prevention.