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Mers (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)


Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a respiratory illness caused by a viral infection. The virus that causes MERS is mostly found in Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. You may be at risk if you or someone close to you lives in or has traveled to these areas. You may also be at risk if you have been near camels with the virus. MERS may lead to severe, life-threatening problems if you have other health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or a weak immune system. If you have these health conditions, scientists recommend staying away from areas where the virus is present.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Breathing support:

You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. You may also need a machine, called a ventilator, to help you breathe.

Contact and droplet isolation:

Measures will be taken to help prevent the MERS virus from spreading to other people. These measures are called contact and droplet precautions. Healthcare providers will wear gloves, mask, and a gown. Everyone should wash their hands with germ-killing soap after touching you or leaving your room. You may be in a room by yourself, and things that you use will not be shared with others.


Medicines are given to treat the viral infection and reduce your symptoms.


  • Blood tests are used to monitor your condition and your kidney function, and to get information about your overall health.
  • A sample of fluid will be collected from your nose, throat, or lungs and tested for the MERS virus.


MERS may lead to a lung infection, severe lung disorders, or a severe infection called sepsis. It may also increase your risk for a bleeding disorder or kidney failure.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.