MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) is a newer virus that is being transmitted to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since been found in other countries including the United States. While the threat here in the U.S. is low, you may want to be aware of the virus.

MERS-CoV is a Coronavirus that affects the respiratory system, presenting as symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. According to the CDC, nearly 40% of those that were infected have died. Only 2 (unrelated) cases have surfaced in the United States–both of these individuals were hospitalized and made full recoveries. It is believed that both individuals contracted the illness while working in a hospital in Saudi Arabia with confirmed cases of MERS.

If you are concerned about exposure, the CDC recommends the following preventative actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs

Arrow recommended disinfectants are products with kill claims against Coronaviruses, such as #442 – Formula 442 Ready to Use Acid Free Disinfectant Bathroom & Kitchen Cleaner and #253 – Fresh & Clean NutraQuat Disinfectant Cleaner.

For more information on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, visit the CDC Website.




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