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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Knowledge to Date*

Alsolamy, Sami MD, MPH1,2

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000000966
Review Articles

Objective: To provide a conceptual and clinical review of Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Data Sources: Peer-reviewed articles were identified through searches of PubMed using the terms “Middle East respiratory syndrome,” “coronavirus respiratory illness in Saudi Arabia,” and “novel (beta) coronavirus and human coronavirus Erasmus Medical Center”. In addition, articles were searched on the websites of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using the terms “Middle East respiratory syndrome” and “novel coronavirus in Middle East.” The reference lists of these articles and relevant review articles were also reviewed.

Study Selection and Data Extraction: Final references were selected for inclusion in the review on the basis of their relevance.

Data Synthesis: The emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus causes severe pulmonary disease with multiorgan involvement and a high fatality rate. Within months after its emergence, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus was reported in several countries worldwide in people who had traveled from the Middle East. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus is considered a zoonotic virus that has crossed the species barrier to humans, but the pathogenesis and the routes of transmission are not completely understood. There is currently no recommended treatment for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, although supportive treatment has played an important role.

Conclusions: This syndrome has raised global public health concerns about the dissemination of an emerging infectious disease and highlights the need for a coordinated global response to contain such a disease threat.

1Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, King Abdulaziz Medical City CR, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

* See also p. 1344.

The author has disclosed that he does not have any potential conflicts of interest.

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