I also belong to Middle East: But beware of me (MERS)

Despite huge progress and success in medical science, scientists are facing new health-related challenges every day. We have become successful to control many infectious problems but there are still many problems which urge scientist to focus their directions on them. Medical scientists are facing alarming situations due to sudden outbreaks of newly reported diseases including Ebola Virus infection and the Middle East respiratory syndrome with dangerous morbidity and mortality rates.


The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The first case of MERS was reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and there was a thought that this disease spread due to certain infection in camels and it was endemic in Saudi Arabia (so this name was given). The first death was also reported due to this illness in Saudi Arabia in July 2012. But after a short period of time it became Pandemic and cases were reported globally including London, France, Italy, and Abu Dhabi. First death due to MERS in Abu Dhabi was reported in July 2013 (one year after in Saudi Arabia). Till September 2013, total of 45 deaths have been reported from confirmed cases. Out of these 38 deaths have occurred in Saudi Arabia.

Mode of Transmission:

The virus can spread from one person to another through close contact and transmission of the pathogen to health care personnel has also been reported.

Recent Challenges:

In the last week of May and the first week of June 2015, a new pandemic of this disease is reported at a large scale. Twelve cases in Korea has been reported in those persons who have returned from Saudi Arabia and these patients are under observation. Another exposure to Chinese people has also been reported in those citizens who have currently returned from Korea. Since transmission of this sickness occurs due to close contact with an infected person, Chinese Govt. is in search of passengers who were in close proximity to the person having the disease to keep them under observation in order to control the widespread of the disease.


Matter of Concern for Government of Pakistan:

Due to large population working in the Middle East and No of Persons present for work and other activities in China, there may be an incidence for the virus to enter in Pakistan so we should take care of it.

We should have to make checkpoints at airports and seaports to identify any suspected case in the large scale of public interest. We should take steps for awareness of the public and stop MERS from entering in Pakistan. We should equip our health care personnel regarding the current epidemic of the problem and its precautionary measures as the pathogen has greater tendency to affect health care personnel having (having close contact with patients) less precautionary measures and carelessness.

Author: Hafiz Hasnain Ayoub

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