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Global Community Should Take Precautions Against Potential MERS Outbreaks

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: MERS — an uncertain future
Editorial Board

“…A recent WHO report stated that ‘WHO expects that … [MERS] cases will continue to be exported to other countries.’ If export were to a country with a weak health infrastructure, a much larger outbreak than was seen in South Korea might occur. A Lancet review cautioned that ‘health authorities, governments, and the research community should be prepared for the emergence of a MERS [coronavirus] with increased capacity for transmission and pandemic potential.’ We support the WHO call for more research on how people become infected, identification of risk factors in health care and occupational settings, and for enhanced surveillance for pneumonia. Given the situation in the Middle East, health care facilities worldwide need to operate with a raised index of suspicion, and have in place policies for rapid screening and assessment of potential MERS cases” (October 2015).