International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health
Vol 5, No 2 (2018) February 2018
Emerging infectious diseases: MERS-COV, the new Betacoronavirus pandemic
Mohammed Alaenazi, Hmoud Algarni, Saeed Alqahtani, Raed Aldahmeshi, Sabah Almutairi, Alaa Alaskar
Both the recent MERS-CoV and the past SARS-CoV indicate that new pathogens would probably emerge. Because it is not possible to predict when or where a new epidemic would occur, this continues to be a challenging issue for physicians and healthcare organizations. Furthermore, there are prophylactic vaccines or effective treatment for these infections and little is known about the origin and the zoonotic transmission of MERS-CoV which hinders the progress of its spread to humans. MERS-CoV is highly pathogenic, exhibiting high fatality rate than the former human corona virus SARS and can obviously be transmitted through several routes, with higher incidence in compromised healthcare settings. Currently, efforts to manage MERS-CoV spared should be directed towards developing educational programs, targeting the public and more importantly health care providers. For one major concern, this infection has and still could pose potential to spread rapidly across the globe, especially during religious mass gathering originating from a MERS-CoV hot spot (i.e., Hajj). Continued epidemiologic surveillance and vigilance remains crucial to compact this virus, or any future mutation.