Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
MERS short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is an illness which is caused by a virus.
The virus is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The majority of patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of shortness of breath, cough and a fever.
The mortality rate is high about 30 to 40% of people reported with the disease have died.
Saudi Arabia Health officials were the first to report MERS in 2012.
By looking back health officials identified that the first known cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome occurred in Jordan.
At the time of publishing all cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been linked through by residence or travel to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula.
There have been cases of the disease in the Philippines but the country is said to be MERS free. However, with so many Filipinos working in the Middle East there is a strong chance of the disease reaching the Philippines, with the high cost of treatment in the Philippines there could be cases that have not been diagnosed because people have not gone for treatment.
MERS-CoV spreads from ill people through close contact, such as living with a person that is infected.
It does not discriminate on age and can infect people of all ages.