MERS-CoV as an emerging respiratory illness: A review of prevention methods
Memish, Ziad A.
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Introduction: Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Virus (MERS-CoV) first emerged from Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since been recognized as a significant human respiratory pathogen on a global level. Methods: In this narrative review, we focus on the prevention of MERS-CoV. We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, Scopus, and Google Scholar, using the following terms: ‘MERS’, ‘MERS-CoV’, ‘Middle East respiratory syndrome’ in combination with ‘prevention’ or ‘infection control’. We also reviewed the references of each article to further include other studies or reports not identified by the search. Results: As of Nov 2019, a total of 2468 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV were diagnosed mostly from Middle Eastern regions with a mortality rate of at least 35%. A major outbreak that occurred outside the Middle East (in South Korea) and infections reported from 27 countries. MERS-CoV has gained recognition as a pathogen of global significance. Prevention of MERS-CoV infection is a global public health priority. Healthcare facility transmission and by extension community transmission, the main amplifier of persistent outbreaks, can be prevented through early identification and isolation of infected humans. While MERS-CoV vaccine studies were initially hindered by multiple challenges, recent vaccine development for MERS-CoV is showing promise. Conclusions: The main factors leading to sustainability of MERS-CoV infection in high risk courtiers is healthcare facility transmission. MERS-CoV transmission in healthcare facility mainly results from laps in infection control measures and late isolation of suspected cases. Preventive measures for MERS-CoV include disease control in camels, prevention of camel to human transmission.