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Yesterday, the Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission notified that the first suspected case of imported Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has occurred in the province. The patient is a close contact of confirmed cases in South Korea and has now developed fever. A total of 35 close contacts have been searched, and no abnormalities have been found.

Middle East Respiratory SyndromeThere have been three years of epidemic records. According to data released by the World Health Organization on May 3, there are a total of 5 confirmed cases, 25 deaths, and a mortality rate of about 1,139% worldwide. After the first confirmed case broke out in South Korea on May 431, 3 cases have been detected in just 5 days. The doctor who diagnosed and treated at that time also confirmed the infection on the 20th. Except for the first case, it was an in-hospital infection. The 8-year-old man who was in close contact with the confirmed patient entered mainland China on the 5th, showing that South Korea’s prevention of MERS has a loophole.

Some media call MERS as "new SARS". How is it different from SARS? How many cases are there today and where are the epidemic areas?What are the routes of transmission and symptoms?According to relevant information, 10 Q&A are sorted out to let you quickly understand the knowledge of MERS virus.

XNUMX. International confirmed cases are concentrated in the Middle East

Global cumulative cases: 1139

Death cases: 431

Country where the case occurred: 24 countries and regions

Country with the most cases: Saudi Arabia


MERS-CoV cases continue to occur globally. At present, 24 countries have reported cases. The cases are mainly concentrated in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The confirmed cases in countries outside the region have many jobs in the Middle East before the onset. Or travel history.

XNUMX. What is the difference between MERS and SARS?

Appearance time 200 to 2003 2012 to present
Endemic area Southeast China the Middle East
Virus form Coronavirus Coronavirus
Source of infection Bats, infect civet cats and other animals, and then spread to people The infection may be caused by contact or inhalation of the droplets or secretions of sick camels. The transmission from person to person is mainly nosocomial infection.
Mode of transmission Droplet infection People in close contact with people and specific animals, such as Middle Eastern dromedaries and specific bats.
Incubation period It varies from 2 to 7 days, and the longest can be more than 10 days. 2~14 days
Lethality 10% 30-40%
Known cases Over 8200 pieces 1139 of
Known deaths Over 755 people 431

XNUMX. What is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS)? What is the relationship with SARS?

Originally called Novel Coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus) or SARS-like Coronavirus, due to the continuous emergence of emerging viruses, experts believe that it should not be named after "new", so it was renamed "Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus" (Middle East respiratory syndrome). coronavirus, MERS-CoV). This virus is not the same as the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and its characteristics are still being studied.

XNUMX. What is the source of infection? bat? camel?

Since most of the natural hosts of beta subfamily coronaviruses are bats, and it has been reported that MERS-CoV has been isolated from bat samples in the Middle East, it was initially believed that bats may be the source of MERS-CoV infection, but because the samples are very few and most cases are not There is no history of exposure to bats, so the analysis may have other hosts.

Recent studies have further found that MERS-CoV can be isolated from local dromedary camels in the Middle East, and its gene sequence is highly similar to that of the virus isolated from a confirmed case. Serological studies have also shown that most local camels have been infected with the virus, and some cases have had a history of camel contact, showing that camels are a potential source of human infection with MERS-CoV. There is currently no evidence that other animals may transmit the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries are still collecting and investigating the source of the virus and infectious nests.

XNUMX. How to spread?

According to current research results, it is speculated that the case may be infected by contact or inhalation of droplets or secretions of sick camels. The main human-to-human transmission is mainly nosocomial infection, but there is still no persistent human-to-human transmission.

Another study pointed out that the MERS-CoV virus can survive 4 hours in low temperature (72°C) camel milk. Some confirmed cases have also consumed camel milk.

XNUMX. How long is the incubation period?

2~14 days.

XNUMX. What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. Infected people usually have pneumonia, and some patients will experience renal failure, pericarditis, diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC) or death.

XNUMX. How to treat?

There is no vaccine to prevent it, and the mortality rate is 30%-40%.

Nine, prevention methods

1. People who intend to go to the Middle East should pay attention to personal hygiene and hand cleansing, and try to minimize activities in places with crowds or poor air circulation, or close contact with people with respiratory symptoms. In addition, you should avoid going to local farms, contacting camels or drinking raw camel milk to reduce the possibility of infection. The elderly or people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and immune insufficiency should be more cautious and take appropriate protective measures.

2. People entering from the Middle East, if they develop fever or have acute respiratory symptoms, should actively report to port quarantine personnel, and cooperate with quarantine and evacuation for medical treatment, and conduct inspection and medical evaluation; if respiratory tract occurs within 14 days of returning home If you have symptoms or have fever, you should wear a general surgical mask to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and actively inform the medical staff of the travel history.

XNUMX. Key timetable

时间 事件
2012/6 Saudi Arabia reports its first death.
2013/3 A 73-year-old man from Dubai died in Munich because of MERS.
2013/5 France reported the first confirmed case, and five days later there was a second.
2013/6 Italy confirmed its first case.
2013/7 The United Arab Emirates reports its first confirmed case.
2014/5 The United States confirmed the first case.
2015/5 The first case occurred in South Korea on the 20th. The 68-year-old man had traveled to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries. After returning home, he developed fever and cough and was subsequently diagnosed with MERS. It spread to wives, patients who live in the same ward, daughters of patients who live in the same room, and doctors who help him. As of the 27th, 5 confirmed cases have been found. On the 28th, it was revealed that a 44-year-old man who had had close contact with the confirmed patient had entered mainland China on the 26th. It was reported on the 28th that the first suspected case of imported Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) occurred in Guangdong.

(This article summarizes the latest relevant information)

Article reprinted from Medical Messenger


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