Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus; MERS-CoV; Coronaviruses; CoV

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a severe respiratory illness that mainly involves the upper respiratory tract. It causes fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. About 30% of people who have gotten this illness have died. Some people only have mild symptoms.

MERS is caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause mild to severe respiratory infections. MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and then spread to many countries. Most cases were spread from people who traveled to the Middle Eastern countries.

To date, there have only been 2 cases of MERS in the United States. They were in people traveling to the United States from Saudi Arabia and diagnosed in 2014. The virus poses a very low risk to people in the United States.

How MERS Spreads

MERS Symptoms

Steps to Help Prevent MERS