- In 2012, a new strain of virus, later named Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was isolated from a patient who had died of pneumonia and kidney failure in Egypt
- Since then there has been a surge in its occurrence with as many as 200 confirmed cases and more than 100 deaths, a vast majority of which occurred in the Middle East Countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE,Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Yemen.
- Reports of instances in other countries such as India, France, Italy and other Asian countries, where people were infected in the Middle East while on travel or pilgrimage, or when they came in contact with infected individuals has also been seen.
- Countries such as India where a large number of travelers,including workers, go to the Middle East have a need for increased vigilance by surveillance, and promote good practices of infection control in patients to avoid the disease from spreading.
- Unlike the swine-origin flu virus, this does not spread easily, but is highly fatal. Hospitals need to be prepared to handle these infections, and take measures to reduce the risk of transmission of this disease to other patients, staff and visitors.
- Read at: http://www.thehindu.com/
todays-paper/tp-opinion/a- virus-to-watch-out-for/ article5941868.ece