Alert – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
June 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Update on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
WHO has informed of the continuation of the outbreak of (MERS-Cov). Globally from September 2012 to date, there have been 54 laboratory confirmed cases including 30 deaths. Updates on the current situation with the outbreak are available from the World Health Organization (WHO) at http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/index.html
CARPHA Member Countries are requested to strengthen ARI and SARI surveillance to detect any unusual patterns. Countries are specifically asked:
- To investigate the etiology of all severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases
- To assess underlying medical conditions and exposure history (e.g. travel) as part of the case investigation.
- To ensure that all recent travelers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI are tested for MERS-CoV.
- To encourage health care providers to maintain vigilance.
- To update and implement the relevant components of multi-hazard plans for preparedness and response to public health events.
With respect to laboratory testing:
- For countries with in-country capacity to test specimens for influenza and other respiratory pathogens, immediately send all specimens of unknown etiology to the CARPHA Laboratory.
- For all specimens being sent to the CARPHA Laboratory, please ensure that the travel history is included along with all other required information on the Test Request Form.
- Specimens of unknown etiology will be referred by CARPHA to the WHO Regional Reference Centre.
At this time CARPHA does not recommend:
- Health screening at points of entry
- Travel or trade restrictions
CARPHA continues to monitor the situation. For any further clarification, please contact us at CARPHA-Epidemiology@CARPHA.ORG