CDC To Issue Warning To US Physicians About MERS

Pulmonary Medicine Blog By Dr Deepu

David Muir reported on ABC World News (6/10, story 8, 1:05, Muir) that the CDC will issue a warning as early as tomorrow about “the deadly MERS virus.” The CDC is “sounding the alarm for American doctors now,” as more than 1,200 people have been infected around the world and the death toll is “approaching 500.” Richard Besser, MD, added that “the big concern is that the person who brought it into South Korea and spread it around hospitals might be something called a ‘super spreader’ – someone who can spread it to people easier than others.”
        The New York Times (6/11, Choe, Subscription Publication) reports, “With at least nine deaths, 122 confirmed cases and more than 3,400 who may have been exposed,” South Korea is now “experiencing an outbreak of MERS second in size only to that in Saudi Arabia, where it originated in 2012.” Yesterday, experts with the World Health Organization visiting that country “recommended that ‘all patients’ with fevers or respiratory symptoms be questioned about possible exposure to MERS.” The article also discusses the quarantine in place until June 18 in the village of Jangdeok where a case of MERS was reported. While villagers rail against the strict measures of the quarantine, people elsewhere in South Korea are voicing anger at the government for not doing more to contain the MERS outbreak.
        The Wall Street Journal (6/11, Kwaak, Gale, Subscription Publication) reports that fatality rates from MERS are significantly lower in South Korea than they have been in the Middle East. This week, the WHO disclosed that researchers around the globe are investigating if the MERS virus there has mutated.
        Meanwhile, the AP (6/11, Kim) reports that yesterday, “experts from the World Health Organization and South Korea...urged the reopening of more than 2,700 schools closed over fears” of the virus.
        In an opinion piece for CNN (6/10, Vox), physician journalist Ford Vox, MD points out that the US could learn some lessons from the outbreak of MERS in South Korea. Dr. Vox draws parallels to last year’s Ebola outbreak in Dallas, TX, in which poor communication and panic figured prominently. Currently, “South Korea is dealing with familiar problems of panic and insufficient guidance, but it is also putting into place some innovative new measures surrounding quarantine that our public health officials should consider,” such as “monitoring cell phone signals for those under quarantine and...using monitors who frequently call and check on those under quarantine.”
        The NPR (6/10, Hu) “Goats and Soda” blog and “All Things Considered” program focus on smartphone monitoring of people under quarantine orders. Focusing on the economic effects of the MERS outbreak in South Korea are the AP (6/11, Lee), Bloomberg News (6/11, Gale), and Reuters (6/11, Park, Kim).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments