Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many of them have died.
Since May 2015, the Republic of Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS. It is the largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Arabian Peninsula. The precise mode of transmission is not yet well-understood but it is thought to spread from an infected person’s respiratory secretions such as through coughing, like other coronaviruses. Close contact such as caring for or living with an infected person has a higher chance of person-to-person spread, as is its prevalence in healthcare settings-such as hospitals (Read more: Singapore steps up precautionary measures).
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