2018 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreakWikipedia open wikipedia design.
This article needs to be updated.January 2020)(
|Date||23 August 2018 – 14 February 2020|
|Location||Confirmed cases: Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, South Korea|
The 2018 Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak was a continuing set of infections of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV). The cases were most numerous in, and are believed to have originated from, Saudi Arabia.
There had been one more case of MERS in 2017 than in 2016. In 2018, there was an early surge in cases (21 confirmed cases were reported in February). 2018 became associated with an "outbreak" of MERS. However, the final statistics for the entire year suggest that the title is misleading.
The syndrome originates in countries on the Arabian peninsula, and there is a low general risk to any travelers. Symptoms usually appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
|2020||15 (to January) |
Background of cases
It was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 18, 2018 that there were 75 laboratory confirmed cases of the syndrome in Saudi Arabia. The first observed case outside of the Middle East was diagnosed on August 23, 2018 in the United Kingdom, being the first case in 5 years in the country. A second case was detected on September 8, 2018 of a South Korean man who was traveling from the Middle East, being the first diagnosis in that country since the 2015 outbreak. There were also hundreds of expected cases in United States and other parts of the World, most of which were eventually diagnosed as being not MERS infections.
Full year totals were as follows:
|Country||Confirmed cases||Suspected cases||Deaths|
|United Arab Emirates||1||?||0|
|South Korea||1 (travel-associated)||0?||0|
|United Kingdom||1 (travel-associated)||0?||0|
|United States||0||~100?||0|
The Ministry of Health in the Republic of Korea monitored at least 21 individuals who were in close contact with the confirmed case, and placed all identified close contacts in quarantine at their homes.
World Health Organization
The confirmed case in Korea did not change the World Health Organization (WHO) overall global risk assessment for the disease, and WHO also stated that any additional confirmed cases would also not change the risk, which was deemed as low. However, it does recommend countries to continue to monitor potential cases and to carefully record any unusual patterns.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
After the confirmed case in the United Kingdom, the ECDC repeated their risk assessment that close contacts of confirmed cases must be monitored for symptoms for at least 14 days after the last exposure. The organization also repeated that cases of the syndrome were not unexpected and had been observed in Europe before, and the risk of transmission to the general population from the confirmed case was extremely low.
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