Middle East Respiratory Syndrome: Transmission And Treatment

Middle East respiratory syndrome or the camel flu is a viral infection of the respiratory system which is caused by the MERS corona virus. The infection is characterized by cough, fever, breathlessness and diarrhea. It is typically more severe in people who have other health issues.

MERS corona virus is a new virus which caused severe acute respiratory infection – first recognized in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. The virus spreads from camels to humans, with limited person-to-person spread.

The virus is similar to the one which causes SARS – severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus has been detected in camels, and in people who handle camels.

Other livestock have not been afflicted.

Transmission Of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Middle East respiratory syndrome is caused by the MERS Co virus. The infection gets transmitted from one person to another via respiratory secretions. It spreads from camels to humans. People who handle camels are at great risk of developing the MERS-Co V infection.

It spreads from the infected camel to a human through respiratory droplets as well as infected milk, meat, and urine of the animal, although the camel does not appear sick.

The infection is highly contagious and spreads from one individual to another via respiratory secretions and droplets, either when you breathe in airborne droplets or come in contact with the respiratory secretions with the nose, mouth and eyes.

Symptoms Of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Middle East respiratory syndrome manifests as:

  • Cold, cough
  • Fever
  • Body pain
  • Lassitude
  • Breathlessness
  • Pneumonia like clinical features.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms may develop too – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • In severe cases, respiratory failure could develop as well.

Treatment And Prevention Of MERS Co V

The treatment regimen for Middle East respiratory syndrome comprises of:

  • Once various tests and investigations have been carried out, your doctor will begin with symptomatic treatment to manage the cold, cough, and fever.
  • MERS-Co V patients frequently need oxygen supplementation, and severe cases need mechanical ventilation and intensive care unit support.
  • There is no specific treatment to treat MERS Co V, and the treatment regimen is based on the individual’s medical condition.
  • A host of drug and medicines have been tried to treat MERS-Co V, without any convincing benefits though, and advance research needs to be carried out.
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome is associated with a rapidly progressive severe respiratory illness, and the mortality rate is very high as well. What’s more, several complications have been linked to the illness too; pneumonia and kidney failure are habitually seen complications of MERS Co V.

Luckily, Middle East respiratory syndrome does not appear to spread as easily or quickly from individual to individual as the SARS Co V. Travelers to the Middle East and neighboring countries must protect themselves by employing simple measures which will help to avert the spread of the virus.

Avoid close contact with people who are ill, frequently wash hands using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching the nose, eyes, and mouth; this helps prevent the spread of virus. Caregivers of patients who have not been hospitalized must observe frequent hand hygiene as well as wear a face mask until the patient has completely recovered.