The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

1821 Words Nov 7th, 2016 8 Pages
In June 2015, the Republic of South Korea experienced an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that was rapidly transmitted across the general population. Transmission was most active within medical institutions, specifically the emergency rooms because of their overcrowded conditions. There are several interventions that can reduce the risk for MERS outbreaks in South Korea; however, the government’s lack of response in 2015 led to an epidemic that was larger than necessary. Furthermore, although there is currently no vaccine for the disease, MERS transmission is preventable with proper containment and infection control procedures. For this reason, international health organizations and governments have made efforts in implementing new public health agendas that have shown progress in various aspects, but additional research is still needed for short-term and long-term countermeasures. If the South Korean government can review its response methods, then South Korea has the potential to prevent rapid transmission in future MERS outbreaks.
Introduction
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) first emerged in 2012 from the Middle Eastern region, particularly the Arabian Peninsula (Banik). The MERS-CoV is a single-stranded RNA virus that, similar to the SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses, is prone to viral mutations that allow for the development of an enhanced human-to-human transmission (Chowell, Banik, Hui). Animal…
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