Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – What Every Otolaryngologist Should Know: A Review
Ahmad K Alnemare
Otolaryngology Department, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al-Majmaah 11952, Saudi Arabia
Correspondence: Ahmad K Alnemare Otolaryngology Department Al-Majmaah 11952, Saudi Arabia
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Abstract: In this study, we illustrate the history of Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV) infection from the first reported case to the disease’s outbreak and subsequent worldwide decline, with the aim of briefly defining the problem for the benefit of otolaryngologists. MERS-CoV belongs to the Coronaviridae family and causes a zoonotic disease, MERS, with strong camel to human and weak human to human transmission. The first documented case of MERS was reported in Saudi Arabia in June 2012. Viral replication produces inflammatory markers targeting T lymphocytes, with apoptosis being the end result. Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of this virus is not yet fully understood. The main symptomatic appearance is of mild lower respiratory tract infection with dyspnea and persistent cough in addition to systemic manifestations. The diagnosis is mainly based on the use of polymerase chain reaction for the detection of viral ribonucleic acid in the sputum or tracheal fluids. Otolaryngologic treatment mainly involves supportive adjuvant usage of interferon or antiviral drugs; however, approximately one-third of patients may not survive, and, therefore, otolaryngologists should be familiar with and remain mindful of the disease.
Keywords: MERS, coronavirus infections, zoonoses, lower respiratory tract infection
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