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Welcome to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Information Hub!

Here you will find all of our information and resources concerning MERS-CoV.


What is MERS-CoV?

MERS-CoV is a viral respiratory disease. It is a strain of coronavirus first identified by the Netherlands in 2012. Symptoms include fever and cough that progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In some cases, a diarrheal illness has been the first symptom to appear. There is currently no vaccine available for MERS-CoV.

Since April 2014, there has been a marked increase in reported infections with MERS-CoV outside the UK. There continues to be a risk of imported cases to the UK, and health professionals should remain vigilant. Early identification and rapid implementation of appropriate infection control measures for suspected cases is crucial.

While the risk of MERS-CoV in individuals who meet the case definition for a possible case in the UK following travel to/from the Middle East is low, testing for MERS-CoV is warranted together with rapid implementation of appropriate infection control measures while awaiting results of testing.



NHSGGC MERS-CoV Guidance (Interim)

NHSGGC MERS-CoV Aide Memoire: Out of Hours and Minor Injuries


NHSGGC MERS-CoV Hospital Pathways

QEUH (Adults)

QEUH (Paediatric)






NHSGGC Reception/Triage posters

MERS Pathway: Telephone Triage – Acute Oncology Assessment Unit  

MERS Triage Nurse Signage

MERS Poster - English/Arabic



Health Protection Scotland Guidance

  • Patient Assessment

Assessment and initial management of travelers presenting with febrile respiratory illness, returning from an area where infection with MERS-CoV could have been acquired in the 14 days before symptom onset.

Primary Care Algorithm: MERS-CoV v.4 (2018)

Secondary Care Algorithm: MERS CoV v.17 (2018)


  • Close Contacts 

The risk to contacts of confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection is low but contacts should be followed up in the 14 days following last exposure and any new febrile or respiratory illness investigated urgently for MERS CoV.

Close Contacts Algorithm


National Infection Control Guidance

A precautionary principle must be applied for novel or emerging respiratory pathogens of high consequence when the mode of transmission is incompletely determined. Droplet, contact and airborne precautions (including the use of correctly fitted FFP3 respirators) should be applied for all patients admitted with a suspected or confirmed novel or emerging respiratory pathogen (e.g. MERS-CoV or Avian Influenza). The link below, outlines the infection prevention and control advice for healthcare workers involved in receiving and caring for patients, who are suspected or confirmed cases of MERS-CoV.

HPS Guidance for Severe Respiratory Illness from novel or emerging pathogens e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Avian influenza (e.g.  A/H7N9, A/H5N1) (2015)

Further Information for Healthcare workers can be found at:

Information for healthcare workers