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What is the MERS virus?

What is the MERS virus?

The MERS virus has resurfaced in recent weeks, but what is the virus? How do you catch it and what are the symptoms?

What is the MERS virus?
MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. It is a coronavirus that causes a respiratory infection. The name refers to the Middle East, because the virus was discovered there.

What are the symptoms of the MERS virus?
There are very serious respiratory complaints. Infected patients experience fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Some also get diarrhea.

How can you contract the MERS virus?
The virus probably comes from dromedaries. It is not clear how the virus spreads from animals to humans. Most coronaviruses are spread through sneezing or coughing.

Is the MERS virus contagious?
A number of patients have been infected by infected people. In general, the virus seems difficult to transmit from person to person.

Is it dangerous to go on holiday to areas where MERS occurs?
There is no adjusted travel advice. The chance of infection is small. If you belong to a risk group, you can consult your doctor to be sure. It is also important that you adhere to hygiene measures when traveling:heat food well, avoid contact with animals and do not drink water from the tap. You can view the travel advice and more tips here.