MERS-CoV refers to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, a new coronavirus first isolated from a patient in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The symptoms of MERS-CoV are similar to severe pneumonia and include sudden and serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Since MERS-CoV was first identified, serious illness and death have been seen in patients with underlying medical conditions and/or in older individuals. The illness has been milder in younger, healthy people.  MERS-CoV is not the SARS virus.

The risk to Canadians from MERS-CoV is low at this time.  This virus does not appear to spread easily from person to person and the risk of exposure seems to be only in the affected Middle Eastern Countries.  There are no cases of MERS-CoV in Nova Scotia or in Canada.

In the event of a MERS-CoV case in Nova Scotia:

Infection prevention and control recommendations for health care facilities will follow the Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Acute Care Settings from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Public health case or contact management guidance in Nova Scotia has been issued by the Public Health Division of the Department of Health and Wellness in the Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Protocol, under Communicable Disease Prevention and Control.

For further information please see the the Public Healh Agency of Canada's Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus webpage.