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Corona Virus (MERS-COV) – Health Guidelines 2014

What is Novel Coronavirus?
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Coronaviruses constitute a big family including viruses that can cause colds, and in some cases can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Most cases of infection with this virus are simple. However, Coronavirus, which has recently appeared, is considered a new one that we do not yet know a lot about its characteristics and ways of its transmission. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is working currently alongside with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the international experts to learn more about it.
Based on the cases discovered up till now, the symptoms have included fever, and cough, that may be accompanied by suffocation and difficulty in respiration. The symptoms may worsen to include acute and fatal respiratory disease.
According to the limited information which is available so far, there is no yet accurate scientific evidence identifying the way through which the virus can be transmitted from one person to another. But, there are sayings that it’s similar to the other kinds of Coronavirus, which includes the direct contact with patients, direct transmission through droplets expelled from the patient during coughs and sneezes or indirect transmission through touching surfaces and devices contaminated with the virus, and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.
Also, there is no available vaccine or a qualitative treatment for this novel virus so far; given that, health care is provided to the infected persons through alleviating symptoms and endeavoring to treat its complications.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Health (MOH) does its best to observe this disease, know the ways of its transmission and protection, and provide the integrated health care for the infected persons. The MOH also collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of international medical centers specialized in gathering information about the disease. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has created this site with the aim of providing information about this disease, and supplying the community and concerned persons with the developments as well as the ways of protection against this disease.
Symptoms of Infection with The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV)

According to the discovered cases so far, the symptoms may include the following:

  1. Fever and cough.
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Congestion in the nose and throat
  4. Diarrhea.
  5. In advanced cases, the patient can have very serious complications, which may lead to death, such as: severe pneumonia.

Ways of protection against the The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV)

    The Ministry of Health recommends citizens and residents generally to abide by the following health guidelines to limit the outbreak of flu and infectious respiratory diseases until we know the ways of the virus transmission:


Wash your hands well and continually with water and soap, or with other disinfectants used for hand washing, especially after coughing, sneezing and using toilets. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands before and after handling or preparing foods, and when dealing with patients or their personal tools.
Try as much as possible to avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with your hand, because it can transmit the virus after touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Avoid as much as possible contacting with infected people.
Use handkerchief when coughing or sneezing and cover your mouth and nose with it, then get rid of the handkerchief in a waste basket. If there are no handkerchiefs, it is preferred to cough or sneeze in the top of your arm, not in the hands (palms).
 Put on face-masks in overcrowded places, especially during Hajj or Umrah.
Adhere to hygiene.​
Pay attention to other health habits as the nutritional balance and physical activity, as well as taking enough share of sleep, as it helps to increase the body’s immunity.

Is there a medication available for this disease?

There is no available vaccine or a qualitative medication available for this disease so far, however, patients take a supportive medication to deal with the complications and alleviate their impacts, till the patient exceeds the danger stage.


Saudi Ministry of Health