MERs-CoV Spread Shows Significant Relation to Health Care Facilities

HealthDay News — Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) infections are frequently associated with health care settings, according to a report published in the April issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Jennifer C. Hunter, Dr PH, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases reported to the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from January 1, 2013, to May 9, 2014, to identify and describe epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of people with health care-associated MERS-CoV infection.

The researchers found that 42% of the 65 case-patients identified with MERS-CoV infection had health care-associated cases. Based on epidemiologic and genetic sequencing findings, three health care clusters were identified, one of which resulted in 20 infected people in one hospital.

“MERS-CoV in health care settings spread predominantly before MERS-CoV infection was diagnosed, underscoring the importance of increasing awareness and infection control measures at first points of entry to health care facilities,” the authors write.

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