MERS-CoV Virus Raises Concern

Karnataka yet to Gear up to Tackle MERS-CoV
  • WHO’s emergency Committee for MERS-CoV, (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) has deferred from declaring a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ because of inconclusive evidence over its transmissibility.
  • It called for better national policies for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities.
  • A sudden rise in cases of MERS-CoV was reported, especially in the middle-east, predominantly in the hospital settings. It resulted in respiratory related disorders raising speculations that it transmitted through air.
  • This could be attributed to an increased susceptibility in camels thus increasing the risk for transmission to humans, particularly as the disease corresponds to calving season for camels in the desert region.
  • Isolated cases in individuals who have travelled to the middleeast have been reported in Egypt, Greece, Malaysia, Philippines, U.S and Netherlands.
  • In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) surfaced in China and spread rapidly across the world, killing hundreds before being successfully halted.
  • Key lessons from SARS:
    • Prevent transmission within healthcare facilities by good infection control practices.
    • Identifying the animal sources of infection and using interventions to stop its transmission.
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