Communicable Disease: MERS Outbreak In September of 2012, beginning in the country of Saudi Arabia, hospitals began seeing increased cases of a respiratory virus never before seen in humans. They named it Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS. MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. It was originally thought to have started there in Saudi Arabia. It was not until later that they were able to trace the origin back to Jordan starting in April of 2012. All outbreaks of MERS have been traced back to originating from the Arabian Peninsula (CDC, 2015a). Unfortunately, it is not known exactly how MERS was contracted in humans, but it is believed to have come from an animal source, probably from camels. Strains of MERS…show more content… These two persons were infected from a family member who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. March of 2013 a man from United Arab Emirates died from MERS in a German hospital. It was discovered that that man had racing camels. It was at this time that suspicions were raised about camels being a source for MERS. Saudi Arabia had another outbreak in May 2013 at a hospital in Al Ahsa. In May 2014, Saudi Arabia and UAE began reporting increasing numbers of infected cases. That same month, cases were exported to the United States, Greece, Philippines, and Malaysia (The Canadian Press, 2014). The cases continued to spread in 2015. According to WHO, as of 2015 the following countries had identified MERS cases:
2012- Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and the UK.
2013- France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, UK
2014- Algeria, Australia, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, U.S.A., Yemen
2015- China, Germany, Iran, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE (WHO, 2015).
Route and Risk Factors:
MERS is spread by contact with an infected person or persons. It is a zoonotic disease that is believed to have been spread originally from camels through direct or indirect contact. When spread from person to person, MERS is spread easily to a caregiver of an infected person who is not using proper precautions such as gloves