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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z MERS-CoV Public health investigation and management

Public health investigation and management

Risk assessment

Please refer to the following risk assessment:

 PHE Risk Assessment - Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (PDF, 81 KB)

Case definitions

Please refer to the following algorithms for case definitions:

There are a variety of coronaviruses and these can cause illnesses ranging from a common cold to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clinicians who think they may have a patient meeting the criteria should discuss the case with their local microbiologist or infectious disease physician in the first instance.

For information and advice on assessment of suspect cases and their close contacts, please see the following document:

For a Microsoft Word copy of Form 1, please use the link below:

The epidemiological and virological investigation of the first cases of acute respiratory infection associated with Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and their close contacts is essential in order to inform guidance and policy in directing the United Kingdom’s (UK) public health response.The epidemiological methods to guide data collection for the comprehensive assessment of the “first few hundred cases and their close contacts” are set out in this document. The protocol outlines the investigation of persons with laboratory confirmed MERS-CoV infection, along with their close contacts. 

Infection control

Please refer to the following link for infection control:

Further information is available from the Information for clinicians webpage.

Laboratory testing guidance

Please refer to the following links for testing guidance:


Further information is available from the Information for microbiologists and virologists webpage.

Follow up

Please refer to the following link for advice on treatment of MERS-CoV:

Please refer to the following document for advice on follow up of cases:

The incubation period is currently considered to be up to 14 days and therefore any respiratory illness occurring in the 14 days following last contact with a confirmed case of MERS-CoV is considered relevant and close contacts should self- isolate and alert their GP as soon as possible – where the close contacts are healthcare workers this should be there manager/ occupational health service. Symptoms would include fever, cough, or any other respiratory symptoms.

Imported fever service

The imported fever service is a specialist service for medical professionals for the diagnosis of acute fevers due to travel-related infections. Access to this service is available through local infection consultants (consultant microbiologists, virologists and infectious disease physicians). See the webpage for further information.