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[Comment] Middle East respiratory syndrome: new disease, old lessons

29 Jun 2013

In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus caused an epidemic of severe viral pneumonia. The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has raised concerns of a similar epidemic. Although 55 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported to WHO, published clinical details are sparse. In The Lancet, Benoit Guery and colleagues give a detailed description of two cases, occurring without co-infection. This report is important not only because it provides information about the clinical features of the disease, but also because it confirms human-to-human transmission, shows the importance of travel and contact history-taking, draws attention to the need for analysis of lower respiratory tract specimens to exclude disease, and suggests that previous estimates of the incubation period might be too short.

29 June 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in The Lancet