Patients should be evaluated for MERS-CoV infection in consultation with the state and local health departments. For more information, see CDC’s Interim Guidance for Health Professionals.
A person with the following characteristics should be considered a patient under investigation (PUI):
- Fever AND pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (based on clinical or radiological evidence) AND EITHER:
- a history of travel from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula1 within 14 days before symptom onset, OR
- close contact2 with a symptomatic traveler who developed fever and acute respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia) within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula1 OR
- a member of a cluster of patients with severe acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever and pneumonia requiring hospitalization) of unknown etiology in which MERS-CoV is being evaluated, in consultation with state and local health departments.
- Fever AND symptoms of respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia; e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND being in a healthcare facility (as a patient, worker, or visitor) within 14 days before symptom onset in a country or territory in or near the Arabian Peninsula in which recent healthcare-associated cases of MERS have been identified.
- Fever OR symptoms of respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia; e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND close contact2 with a confirmed MERS case while the case was ill.
A confirmed case is a person with laboratory confirmation of MERS-CoV infection. Confirmatory laboratory testing requires a positive PCR on at least two specific genomic targets or a single positive target with sequencing on a second.
A probable case is a PUI with absent or inconclusive laboratory results for MERS-CoV infection who is a close contact2 of a laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV case. Examples of laboratory results that may be considered inconclusive include a positive test on a single PCR target, a positive test with an assay that has limited performance data available, or a negative test on an inadequate specimen.Top of Page
- Countries considered in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring include: Bahrain; Iraq; Iran; Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and Yemen.
- Close contact is defined as: a)being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) or within the room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., healthcare personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., gowns, gloves, respirator, eye protection– see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations; or b) having direct contact with infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., gowns, gloves, respirator, eye protection – see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations. Data to inform the definition of close contact are limited. At this time, brief interactions, such as walking by a person, are considered low risk and do not constitute close contact.
- Schneider E, Chommanard C, Rudd J, Whitaker B, Lowe L, Gerber SI. Evaluation of patients under investigation for MERS-CoV infection, United States, January 2013–October 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul. doi: 10.3201/eid2107.141888.
- CDC Expert Commentary Video: Be on the Lookout for MERS-CoV. 5:26 minutes, RELEASED JUNE 23, 2014
Editorial Collaboration with Medscape
- CDC Expert Commentary: Interim Guidance for Health Professionals. JUNE 23, 2014
Editorial Collaboration with Medscape
- Page last reviewed: February 4, 2015
- Page last updated: April 10, 2015
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