Health care workers at high risk of infection from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Nurses COVID


In 2013, I noted the initial outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), a novel coronavirus. At the time it had infected several health care workers.

MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) hospital transmission in several countries

Healthcare Workers and Hospital Patients Are at Risk from MERS

Members here at allnurses should be aware of the growing number of nosocomial outbreaks that have occurred in more than a dozen health care facilities on the Arabian Peninsula.

Today, we know that of the 340+ reported cases, at least 80 of them are health care workers. That means that 1 out of every 5 infected persons is a health care worker who most likely became infected in a hospital caring for a sick patient. And about 40% of all the cases have died. Allnurses members should be take the time to educate themselves about this novel infectious disease.

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1/3 persons infected by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus have died.

Virus spreading to healthcare workers

WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 254 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 93 deaths.

Droplet precautions should be added to the standard precautions when providing care to all patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection. Contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection. Airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

Patients should be managed as potentially infected when the clinical and epidemiological clues strongly suggest MERS-CoV, even if an initial test on a nasopharyngeal swab is negative. Repeat testing should be done when the initial testing is negative, preferably on specimens from the lower respiratory tract.

Health-care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Ruth Pollard

April 25, 10114

Saudi MERS cases surge but experts at loss to explain spike

...The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health reported 14 new cases on Wednesday and Thursday alone, as well as four deaths among previously notified patients. This brings the Saudi total to 299 cases and 87 deaths since the virus was first recognised in 2012, the ministry said on its website on Thursday.

Internationally, about one-third of those affected have died. The total number of confirmed infections worldwide is 345, with 107 deaths, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Sweden reported on Thursday. The bulk of these infections are in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“Approximately 75 per cent of the recently reported cases ... have acquired the infection from another case through human-to-human transmission,” World Health Organisation regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean Ala Alwan said in Cairo.

“The majority of these secondary cases have been infected within the healthcare setting and are mainly healthcare workers, although several patients are also considered to have been infected with MERS-CoV while in hospital for other reasons.”

It took more than two years to reach the first 100 cases of MERS, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

“Now, in just the past two weeks, we’ve had 100 cases … There’s a major change occurring that cannot just be attributed to better case detection," he said. “When humans readily transmit to humans, that’s what will cause a worldwide outbreak. We are very concerned that … with what we’ve seen over the past two weeks … we may be at that point now.”...

MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes both the common cold and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) that killed more than 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. Its symptoms can include fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure, experts say...

Saudi Ministry of Health Cornona Virus information

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,140 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

CDC Confirms First Case of MERS in US

The man fell ill after flying to the U.S. late last week from Saudi Arabia where he was a health care worker.

He is hospitalized in good condition in northwest Indiana with Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana health officials said Friday.

The virus is not highly contagious and this case "represents a very low risk to the broader, general public," Dr. Anne Schuchat told reporters during a CDC briefing.

The federal agency plans to track down passengers he may have been in close contact with during his travels; it was not clear how many may have been exposed to the virus.

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