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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is MERS?
Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an emerging viral infectious disease of the airways and lungs.
What are the symptoms of MERS?
People who are infected with the MERS virus, especially if they were previously healthy, can sometimes exhibit no symptoms at all or only mild symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of a MERS infection are fever, chills, coughing and shortness of breath.
What causes MERS?
The cause of MERS has been identified as a new kind of virus, which belongs to the coronavirus family.
Who gets MERS?
The virus is currently found almost exclusively among people who live in the Arabian Peninsula, or who have travelled there or been in close contact with infected people.
How is MERS diagnosed?
A doctor may give a tentative diagnosis of MERS based on the person's clinical symptoms and their history (travel, contact with infected people, etc.). A definite diagnosis relies on laboratory tests to analyze the virus.
How is MERS treated?
There is currently no specific treatment for MERS. Treatment is supportive and focuses on managing the symptoms that appear.
What can be done at home to treat MERS?
MERS is a serious health problem and should be treated at hospital.
Is MERS contagious?
MERS appears to pass from camels to humans and between people who are at close contact such as family members or healthcare personnel treating MERS patients.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 28 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 1338 (Click smiley face below to rate)