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

Public health investigation and management

Case definitions

See the information for clinicians for risk assessment, case definitions, enhanced case and contact protocol and data set form.

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.


Infection control

In light of the seriousness of the illness caused by MERS-CoV, PHE recommends that clinicians manage possible or confirmed cases in strict respiratory isolation.

All staff caring for these cases must wear full personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • FFP3 respirator fit-tested to staff wearing it 
  • goggles
  • gown
  • gloves

Follow up anyone who was in close contact with a confirmed case of MERS-CoV while the patient was ill, including healthcare workers who provided direct clinical or personal care or examination of a case and were not wearing PPE while the patient was symptomatic.

Healthcare workers with health concerns or queries should contact their occupational health department.

Guidance on FFP3 and infection control

Laboratory testing guidance

See the the Information for microbiologists and virologists webpage.

Follow up

See the information for clinicians page.

Imported fever service

A  specialist service for medical professionals is available to help diagnose acute fevers due to travel-related infections. Clinicians can access to this service through local infection consultants (consultant microbiologists, virologists and infectious disease physicians).See the imported fever service page for further information.