Cases of severe respiratory virus called MERS-coV occur sporadically in travellers

Cases of severe respiratory illness due to the MERS-coV virus continue to be reported from the Arabian peninsula, mostly by Saudi Arabia, where there have been 939 confirmed cases of this infection, including 403 deaths since the virus was first identified in 2012. The 3rd case of MERS-CoV infection (since 2012) has just been reported in a traveller returning to Germany from the United Arab Emirates. Isolated cases have also occurred in travellers returning from the Arabian Peninsula to France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, the United States, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

While the risk for the general travellers is very low, travellers should avoid close contact with camels since they carry this virus. Travellers should also avoid consuming raw or incompletely cooked camel products or camel milk. In addition, the usual recommendations for everyday hygiene should be observed, including frequent hand washing and maintaining a distance from people with acute respiratory symptoms.