Infectious disease is considered an ever evolving issue world-wide. A number of health officials and idealists believed that the threat of infectious disease would have been eradicated by now.1 Infectious disease remains the leading cause of death across the globe and the third leading cause of death in the United States.2 Within the scope of infectious disease, the most common cause of illness is viral respiratory tract infections, also referred to as VRTI.3 Recently, a new strain of virus related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome commonly referred to as SARS has been identified.4,5 The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract in humans and has recently been discovered in a small number of animals.6 Although the disease is fairly new, considerable research has lead to significant findings on the epidemiology of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome infections, including clinical manifestations, treatments, transmission, and virological characteristics of the virus causing the infection.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome now also referred to as MERs-CoV was initially discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012.6,7 Similar to SARS-CoV, the patient presented with acute pneumonia and renal failure in June 2012.5 After culturing sputum sample from the patient the MERs-CoV virus strain was identified for the first time in a human host. Following the initial patient’s diagnosis and treatment a subsequent patient was treated in the United Kingdom and was believed to have been infected in Qatar.7,8,9 According to the World Health Organization Middles East Respiratory Syndrome Research Group, from April 2012 through October 2013 a total of 144 confirmed MERs-CoV cases has been identified (Research Group).Only three cases have been reported in children under the age of five.8
The virus has been discovered in patients in a total of nine countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, The United Kingdom, The United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, Germany, and Tunisia (Guan).5, 8 According to the World Health Organization, the infection seems to be primarily connected to the Arabian Peninsula.4, 5, 8 The infections typically occurred within the healthcare setting or between close family members. Typically, most patients diagnosed with MERs-CoV are around the average age of 50.8 However, anyone has a potential risk for getting MERs-CoV, despite age or gender. People who are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk for infection.
A number of studies have supported the theory that the virus had originally occurred in animals previous to human infections.5 The MERs-CoV virus is a type of coronavirus that has been known for infecting both birds and many species of mammals. These types of infections are commonly referred to as zoonotic diseases because the pathogens are able to be transferred from animals to humans. Zoonosis can happen with or without a vector in order to...