Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) a Review of an Emerging Disease
Mili Sarkar1*, Nibedita Das2
1. LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. Of India), Tezpur - 784001, Assam
2. Institute of Serology, Govt. of India, 3, Kyd Street, Kolkata-700016.
The latest emerging disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a member of beta group of corona virus named the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV) which was first identified in Saudi Arabia in April 2012. With frequent air travel worldwide, global data as on July 2015 stands at 486 deaths and 1357 confirmed cases across 25 nations, with the possible source, in all the outbreaks, being traced back to the Middle East. Initial presenting symptom of illness is non specific within 14 days of acquiring infection, though the course is more severe in those with chronic debilitating illness leading to respiratory or renal failure. Bat and camel has been implicated as the potential reservoir but confirmation regarding the possible source and route of transmission of infection is yet to be ascertained. No specific treatment or vaccine is currently available. Supportive therapy remains the only modality of treatment. Preventive and control measures play a major role in effective containment of the disease. WHO recommends early detection of cases and isolation, and practice of standard precautions like hand washing, use of masks, gloves, protective eye goggles etc. by the caregivers as well as the healthcare providers.
Keywords: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS, Corona virus, MERS-CoV, Emerging viral disease.