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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.

Date: 
29 June 2013

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