Public Health Emergency Declared for Middle East Virus with Potential to Spread to U.S.

June 12, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has authorized emergency use of an in vitro diagnostic test to detect the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in U.S. citizens living abroad. Although there are no confirmed cases of MERS-CoV in the United States, public health officials have determined that the virus has the potential to spread to the United States and pose public health risks. Individuals infected with the virus develop a severe acute lower respiratory illness, which has been fatal in 56% of known cases to date.

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