Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 1015–1017 | Cite as

Middle East respiratory syndrome

  • Chi Hung Czarina Leung
  • Charles David Gomersall
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Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is due to RNA betacoronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. By February 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) had received reports of 181 laboratory-confirmed cases in the Middle East, Europe and Northern Africa, with all having connections to the Middle East. The median age is 52 years, with male predominance (64.5 %) [1]. Severe cases deteriorate rapidly: median time from symptom onset to ICU admission is 2 days and to intubation is 4.5–6 days, with an ICU admission rate of 51.6 % [2, 3]. Mortality amongst critically ill ventilated patients is high with a 28-day mortality of 42 % and a 90-day mortality of 58 %. The median ICU stay is 30 days [2].

The apparent epidemiology may be biased by selective reporting of more severe cases and the small total number of patients makes it susceptible to distortion by individual outbreaks. For example, 23 of the 181 cases were in a single outbreak involving three healthcare facilities, including a...


Personal Protective Equipment Infection Control Measure Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Basic Reproductive Number Conjunctival Swab 
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Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi Hung Czarina Leung
    • 1
  • Charles David Gomersall
    • 2
  1. 1.Intensive Care UnitQueen Mary HospitalHong KongChina
  2. 2.Dept of Anaesthesia and Intensive CareThe Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales HospitalHong KongChina

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