An illness that mainly affected countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula in 2012. The condition, mainly characterised by fever, cough, and shortness of breath, is caused by infection with a coronavirus named MERS-CoV which most likely spreads through droplet transmission.
Some people with MERS go on to develop serious respiratory distress and even ARDS. About three or four out of every 10 patients died of complications such as pneumonia or kidney failure in 2012.
COVID-19 and MERS are both caused by viruses that belong to the coronavirus family so there are similarities between them. For example, symptoms start to appear from 2 to 15 days following exposure. Some people with MERS have mild or no symptoms. Most of those who died of MERS had at least one comorbidity such as diabetes, cancer, chronic lung, heart, and/or kidney disease.