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Interim Home Care and Isolation Guidance for MERS-CoV

This guidance is for local and state health departments, infection prevention and control professionals, healthcare providers, and healthcare workers who are coordinating the home care and isolation of ill1 people who are being evaluated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. The guidance is based on what is currently known about viral respiratory diseases and MERS-CoV. CDC will update this guidance as needed.

Ill people who are being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection and do not require hospitalization for medical reasons may be cared for and isolated in their home. Isolation is defined as the separation or restriction of activities of an ill person with a contagious disease from those who are well.

Before the Ill Person is Isolated at Home

A healthcare professional should:

  • Assess whether the home is suitable and appropriate for isolating the ill person. You can conduct this assessment by phone or direct observation.
    • The home should have a functioning bathroom that only the ill person and household members use. If there are multiple bathrooms, one should be designated solely for the ill person.
    • The ill person should have his or her own bed and preferably a private room for sleeping.
    • Basic amenities, such as heat, electricity, potable and hot water, sewer, and telephone access, should be available.
    • If the home is in a multiple-family dwelling, such as an apartment building, the area in which the ill person will stay should use a separate air-ventilation system, if one is present.
    • There should be a primary caregiver who can follow the healthcare provider’s instructions for medications and care. The caregiver should help the ill person with basic needs in the home and help with obtaining groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Contact your local or state health department if you have not already done so.

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If the Home is Suitable and Appropriate for Home Care and Isolation

You should:


  1. For this guidance, an ill person is someone who has mild to severe symptoms that are consistent with MERS-CoV infection. This includes a) persons under investigation (PUIs) with symptoms of fever, pneumonia, and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome, and b) close contacts of PUIs who might have symptoms such as chills, body aches, sore throat, runny nose, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting.


  1. Memish ZA, Zumla AI, Al-Hakeem RF et al. Family cluster of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infections. N Engl J Med, 2013, 368(26):2487-94.
  2. Mailles A, Blanckaert K, Chaud P et al. First cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections in France, investigations and implications for the prevention of human-to-human transmission, France, May 2013. Euro Surveill, 2013, 18(24).
  3. Hijawi B, Abdallat M, Sayaydeh A et al. Novel coronavirus infections in Jordan, April 2012: epidemiological findings from a retrospective investigation. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 2013, 19(Supplement 1):S12-18.
  4. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) UK Novel Coronavirus Investigation Team. Evidence of person-to-person transmission within a family cluster of novel coronavirus infections, United Kingdom, February 2013. Euro Surveill, 2013, 18(11):20427.
  5. Guery B, Poissy J, el Mansouf L et al. Clinical features and viral diagnosis of two cases of infection with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus: a report of nosocomial transmission. Lancet, 2013, 381(9885):2265-72.
  6. Assiri A, McGeer A, Perl TM et al. Hospital Outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. N Engl J Med, 2013, (Epub ahead of print).
  7. Omrani AS, Matin MA, Haddad Q et al. A family cluster of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infections related to a likely unrecognized asymptomatic or mild case. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, (2013).
  8. World Health Organization. MERS-CoV summary and literature update - as of 09 July 2013. WHO, 2013.

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