Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases continue to be reported globally. From May 8 through June 11, 163 new laboratory-confirmed cases, including 38 deaths, were reported to the WHO. 138 of these cases were reported from Saudi Arabia, though four newly affected countries reported MERS-CoV cases during this time period: Algeria, Iran, Lebanon and the Netherlands. Since the virus was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, over 700 cases have been confirmed worldwide. About 30% of people with MERS-CoV infection have died. All cases have been linked to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula. Two cases in May were confirmed in health care workers living in Saudi Arabia who were visiting the United States, one each in Indiana and Florida.
There have been no MERS-CoV infections reported in the United States. Orange County continues to monitor the situation closely. If you have a suspect case of MERS-CoV, please call Orange County Public Health immediately at 714-834-8180 for testing and management, and follow the recommendations outlined below.
Recommendations and Updates:
CDC updated its Interim Guidance for Health Professionals for evaluating patients in the U.S. for MERS-CoV infection, and case definitions for close contact and patients under investigation.
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Several of the cases have been acquired in the health care setting. CDC recommends that suspect and confirmed cases of MERS-CoV be managed using Standard, Airborne and Contact Precautions, including eye protection. For more information, see the CDC MERS-CoV Interim Infection Control Recommendations.
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