Information For Health Professionals on
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Clinicians should call MDH (651-201-5414) when evaluating a patient that meets the following criteria:

Fever AND pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (based on clinical or radiological evidence) AND EITHER:

  1. History of travel from the Arabian Peninsula* within 14 days before symptom onset, OR
  2. Close contact with a traveler who developed fever and acute respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia) within 14 days after traveling from the Arabian Peninsula*


Fever AND symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND history of being in a health care facility (as a patient, worker, or visitor) within 14 days before symptom onset in a country in or near the Arabian Peninsula*.

*Countries considered in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring areas: Bahrain; Iraq; Iran; Israel, West Bank, and Gaza; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; United Arab Emirates (UAE); and Yemen.

Reporting, Specimen Collection, and Testing

  • Contact MDH to report suspect cases and to arrange testing prior to specimen submission. Providers should call MDH at 651-201-5414 or toll-free at 1-877-676-5414 to report suspect cases.

  • Specimen Collection and Testing for MERS-CoV

Infection Prevention and Control

  • Patients meeting MERS-CoV criteria above should be placed in Airborne and Contact Precautions, in addition to Standard Precautions. This includes an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (i.e., negative pressure room) and N95 respirators and eye protection or PAPRs for health care workers. Patient should wear a surgical mask if leaving negative pressure room. If negative pressure room is not available, place patient in a private room with the door closed and patient should wear a surgical mask.

  • Limit the number of health care workers exposed to the patient.

  • Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with MERS-CoV
    Infection prevention and control recommendations for confirmed, probable, or cases under investigation. Update, case definitions, and guidance. Attention: Non-MDH link

Personal Protective Equipment


  • To date, there is no known treatment available for MERS-CoV.

Updated Friday, February 13, 2015 at 04:23PM