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31 July 2015

MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome) strikes the UK

  Coughs  Sneezes Spread Diseases2

This week, the UK became the latest country in 2015 to suffer suspected MERS cases.  Two suspected cases of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome (MERS) have forced a hospital in Manchester to shut its emergency department.  In May, similar events in South Korea [Republic of Korea], mishandled through ignorance and poor infection control within several hospitals, caused multiple outbreaks and a national emergency. 36 people died and thousands of contacts had to be traced. Manchester has obviously learnt from their experience.

MERS is the latest virus to act as a global threat, hot on the heels of Ebola and SARS. It emerged in 2012 and has been an ongoing problem spreading to 10 countries in the Middle East, but the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, replaced it in world headlines (read MERS the next pandemic threat,  one of our previous blogs).

What would happen should MERS ever reach a country with a poor health system?

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