[Etiological, epidemiological and clinical aspects of coronavirus infection MERS-CoV].Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2015 Jan; 38(223):46-50.PM
All medical staff and travellers to the Arabian Peninsula should be aware of a new epidemic caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has emerged in the Arabian Peninsula (2012), secondary cases have been seen in Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States. It seems likely that the outbreak will continue with sporadic adventive cases occurring outside the Middle East, including Poland. Polish medical literature on MERS-CoV is rather scant. Therefore, the article describes etiology, epidemiology, symptoms and diagnostic methods of MERS-CoV infection which are available in Poland. Selected cases of patients infected with MERS-CoV are also presented followed by preventive methods. Comparisons between MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV are briefly described. Epidemiological and genetic studies point at zoonotic transmission of MERS-CoV from camels and possibly bats. Infection is characterized by severe acute respiratory failure with a high fatality rate and the ability to spread from person to person; health care-associated outbreaks have been described. No known vaccine or antiviral therapy has been developed for MERS. The diagnosis is made by demonstrating the MERS-CoV in lower respiratory secretions by RT PCR. General hygiene measures such as regular hand washing before and after touching animals and avoiding contact with sick animals in the epidemic areas, should be adhered to. Health-care workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis due to non-specific symptoms of MERS-CoV in the early stage of infection.