The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a virus that can cause acute respiratory illness. Identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS-CoV has caused illness to residents in Middle Eastern countries, travellers to these countries, and their close contacts.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Viruses in this family also cause illness in animals.
MERS-CoV generally presents as a sudden and serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. People with underlying medical conditions and older individuals are at greater risk of severe illness and death from MERS-CoV. The illness is typically milder in younger, healthy people.
The risk to Canadians of becoming infected with is low.
Learn more about MERS-CoV, how you can protect yourself, and what you need to know if you plan to travel to the Middle East at Public Health Agency of Canada.