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Frontiers of Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 111–119 | Cite as

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: current situation and travel-associated concerns

  • Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq
  • Ali S. Omrani
  • Ziad A. MemishEmail author
Review

Abstract

The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 brought back memories of the occurrence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002. More than 1500 MERS-CoV cases were recorded in 42 months with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 40%. Meanwhile, 8000 cases of SARS-CoV were confirmed in six months with a CFR of 10%. The clinical presentation of MERS-CoV ranges from mild and non-specific presentation to progressive and severe pneumonia. No predictive signs or symptoms exist to differentiate MERS-CoV from community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalized patients. An apparent heterogeneity was observed in transmission. Most MERS-CoV cases were secondary to large outbreaks in healthcare settings. These cases were secondary to community-acquired cases, which may also cause family outbreaks. Travel-associated MERS infection remains low. However, the virus exhibited a clear tendency to cause large outbreaks outside the Arabian Peninsula as exemplified by the outbreak in the Republic of Korea. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about MERS-CoV and highlight travel-related issues.

Keywords

coronavirus MERS Middle East respiratory syndrome 

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ali S. Omrani
    • 3
  • Ziad A. Memish
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Aramco HealthcareDhahranKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious DiseasesKing Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CentreRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  4. 4.Ministry of HealthRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  5. 5.College of MedicineAlfaisal UniversityRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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