MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is gaining attention here since it is in an outbreak in Korea. It reminds us of SARS infection around 2002/3. Like SARS infection, MERS is basically a kind of nosocomial infection. It is unnecessary to worry about it too much. But it could be a menace to those with basic disorders, elderly or medical workers.
The fatality rate is reported from 20% and even to 40%. Probably, since the populations have been the high risk group in this statistics. the real fatality must be a bit lower than this data. The pathogen is a kind of Corona virus which is akin to that of SARS. Unlike SARS virus, however, MERS virus is reported to maintain the capacity of infectivity between species.
The water front of medical services should be consious of this infection. Our MHLW seems to avoid the epidemic with quarantine operation. Like with SARS infection or the swine flu having prevailed in 2009/10, the shoreline operation won't work due to their incubation period. The target to deal with this infection should be the general communicty hospital/clinic. They should make a plan to do with patients of this illness on the hypothesis that the pathogen is already withing the country. I am afraid the authority is slow getting ready for that, which will result in a panic once there is any patient found in the community.
The symptoms of MERS infection is pretty similar to flu. The strategy against this infection is the same that for flu.
Such serious viral infection of different kinds is reported to occur once a few years. The battle against infectious illnesses has not ended at all.