Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

PRACTITIONER SECTION
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 231--233

Ten lessons learned from the recent outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome


Ali Mehrabi Tavana 
 Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah (A.S.) University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Ali Mehrabi Tavana
Health management Research Center, Bagiyatallah (A.S.) University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran

Abstract

From 2012 till the present, the name of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has been heard many a times in the mass media and many papers that have been published in different scientific journals, but one question has remained – What is the lesson learned about MERS epidemic at the present time and what can really be done in order to prevent the matter? I would like to bring your attention to what could be done at the present time, based on lessons learned from MERS outbreak in the world.



How to cite this article:
Tavana AM. Ten lessons learned from the recent outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:231-233


How to cite this URL:
Tavana AM. Ten lessons learned from the recent outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 12 ];10:231-233
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/1/231/205574


Full Text

 Outbreak of Mers



Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.[1] The disease has different signs and symptoms including abnormal chest pain, fever, and cough, shortness in breath, sore throat, myalgia, and sometimes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.[2] Till now, the disease has been reported from different countries, shown in [Table 1].{Table 1}

The number of outbreak of the disease in the Middle East has increased dramatically in the past 3 years.[3],[4] An outbreak of more than 180 cases occurred in South Korea in May and June 2015; the index case had recently traveled to several countries in the Persian Gulf.[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

Lessons learned

Since April 2012, more than 1,610 cases of MERS-CoV infection have been reported. The actual number of cases may be more than that.[10] The surveillance system and registration must be strangled in both the infected and noninfected areas. The primary healthcare (PHC) system may be the best suggestion, at least in developing countries, in order to overcome the diseases in a longtime period.[11]Second, the median age of MERS patients was 48 years and 64% of cases have been male [12] that means all age groups must be considered in health measure precautions carefully.Third, the disease spread very quickly, in particular, the index case and super-spreader were present, in that situation, genetic analysis of virus must be quicker in order to find the source and preponderance of all health care workers and hospitals in many parts of the world, in particular, in developing countries when the medical care is always insufficient they need to prepare money, manpower, machine, perhaps the new rapid molecular methods must be developed in the future.Fourth, the disease was seen in cases of kidney failure or in patients with pneumonia; that means the high risk group must be taken care of in similar situations in order to prevent the problems.Fifth, the camel has been found as a seropositive host; that means the camels and the owners must be screened time by time in infected cases must be cured before the disease spreads.Sixth, not to be forgotten that prevention is always better than cure, thus, personal hygiene precaution, safety measure (i.e., mask, eye protection) are very useful anytime and very economical and practical.Seventh, nosocomial infection transmission of the disease should not be forgotten too, in particular in health care workers, and that it must be prevented by key components of an effective infection control program including the following:Standard precautions when providing patient care, especially the use of hand hygiene before and after patient care;Rapid evaluation appropriate isolation precautions for patients,The usual use of personal protective equipment [i.e., masks, especial mask (N95 respirators), eye protection, and gowns][13] that should be done as other infectious diseases (i.e., influenza).[14],[15]Eighth, at the present time, there is no vaccine for MERS CorV. Therefore, the new research must be focused on that, because in some situations such as a pilgrimage with a mass gathering in Mecca and Karbala this is the best, and only way for prevention and other prevention measures may be impractical.Ninth, the MERS guideline must be updated day-by-day, based on research findings and signs and symptoms of cases and its controls.Tenth, the experts in different aspect of MERS control must be worked as network collaboration in order to prevent the disease properly.

 Conclusion



Risks of MERS infection can be minimized by healthcare workers and any individual in different parts of the world by considering the ten lessons learned above. I wish a world without disease, in particular, MERS.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

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