24 May 2013
Next update: 31 May 2013
Since the first identification of novel coronavirus in late September 2012 , the UK public health response has continued to be managed as a Level 3 Incident , and PHE continues to keep its information and advice under review .
Globally, as at 23 May 2013, 44 laboratory-confirmed cases (including 22 deaths) of the novel coronavirus – now named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported to the World Health Organization . These were from Jordan, Qatar Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), and from France, Germany, Tunisia and the UK – where the cases were either transferred for care of the disease from, or had become ill after returning from, the Middle East.
In the UK, a second Chief Medical Officer message advises healthcare professionals of recent developments – including a healthcare-facility-related cluster in eastern Saudi Arabia (involving 21 cases); and a contact-tracing exercise in France, consequent to an imported confirmed case . The CMO message reminds healthcare providers in the UK to remain vigilant for recent travellers returning from affected areas who develop a severe unexplained respiratory illness, that unexplained severe respiratory infection clusters should be investigated, etc.The message links to: algorithms for investigation and management of possible cases; and updated infection control guidance, and guidance on the management and investigation of cases and contacts. It notes that clinical enquiries about potential cases in those returning from affected areas should be directed to a local infectious disease physician or microbiologist who can arrange testing through the appropriate regional PHE laboratory.
1. “Novel Coronavirus 2012: an update”, HPR 6(49), 7 December 2012.
2. A level 3 incident is defined as one where the public health impact is significant across regional boundaries or nationally.
3. “Novel coronavirus: update 13 May 2013”, PHE website news story.
4. WHO. “Novel coronavirus infection - update (Middle East respiratory syndrome- coronavirus)", 23 May 2013, WHO Global Alert and Response website, www.who.int/csr/alertresponse/en/.
5. DH, 17 May 2013. “Update on novel coronavirus”.
1. Public Health England. "Heatwave plan for England - protecting health and reducing harm from sever heat and heatwaves", 22 May, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england-2013.