What is MERS?

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. What are the Symptoms of MERS?

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Coughs
  • Common upper respiratory symptoms

Where is MERS most Prevalent?

Saudi Arabia has had the most documented cases of the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome. South Korea is currently having a large number of MERS cases reported, and there has been a documented case in China, and two documented cases in the United States.

What Increases your Risk of Developing MERS?

  • If you have been in a hospital or clinic located in South Korea in the last six months
  • If you have been in close physical contact with someone that has a diagnosed case of MERS
  • If you have traveled to any of the following Middle Eastern countries or if you have had close physical contact with anyone who has recently visited any of the following Middle Eastern countries.


  1. Saudi Arabia
  2. Iran
  3. Iraq
  4. Bahrain
  5. Kuwait
  6. Oman
  7. Yemen
  8. Qatar
  9. Syria
  10. Gaza
  11. Jordan
  12. Lebanon

What is the death risk if you develop MERS?

Approximately thirty seven percent of the people who contract MERS will die from the disease.

What Causes MERS?

A virus called MERS-CoV. It is a coronavirus like the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome. It is suspected that MERS originated in camels.

Are some people more susceptible to MERS than others?

Yes. Anyone that has a pre-existing condition that leaves them with a weakened immune system will stand a higher chance of catching MERS if they are exposed. Older people, and small infants, and people with chronic lung and kidney diseases are at the greatest risk.

How does MERS spread?

MERS is spread much like the common cold. When people that are infected with MERS cough, they send the germs into the air and anyone in close proximity to them are potentially exposed. When people who have the MERS virus sneeze, or cough, and then they touch items like door handles, shopping carts, and other things that other people will touch. Close contact like in nursing centers, child daycare centers, and waiting rooms will increase your chances of being exposed.

What Treatment is available?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent MERS. There is also no drug treatment that is specifically prescribed to individuals with this infection. When you have MERS, you will be treated to try and help prevent organ failure. People with diagnosed cases of the condition are quarantined from others to try and prevent the spread of the condition.

How you can protect yourself from possible MERS exposure

There are some things that you can do to reduce your risks of being exposed to, or contracting MERS. They are:

  • Keep all of your immunizations current
  • Try to avoid being in close proximity to ill people
  • Wash your hands
  • Keep disinfectant hand solutions with you so you can wash your hands in public places where soap and water are not readily available to you
  • Avoid any contact with live camels, camel meat, or came milk