Emerging Viruses - Infection Prevention & Control


What is MERS-CoV?

It is an emerging viral respiratory illness caused by a Coronovirus (among the kind of viruses that cause the common cold but it can cause more severe illness with flu-like symptoms).

The virus was first reported in Saudi Arabia and this is how it came about its name of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). There have been a few documented cases in the United States but the individuals had recently been in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Ebola virus disease is a severe disease that causes haemorrhagic fever in humans and animals. 

Who Can Get Ebola Virus Disease?

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Canada. The current outbreak is in several African countries. As long as precautions are taken, there is low risk of contracting Ebola, even in a country where the disease is present. Where the virus is present, people who have close contact with infected humans are most at risk. These people include laboratory or quarantine facility workers, hospital staff, and family members caring for patients.

What do health care workers need to know about Ebola?

Health care workers in Canada are advised to be vigilant for the recognition, reporting and prompt investigation of patients with symptoms of Ebola and other similar diseases that can cause viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Person-to-person transmission of Ebola virus is primarily associated with direct contact with blood and body fluids of infected persons. It can also be transmitted through contact with medical equipment contaminated with infected body fluids. Health care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease must carefully and consistently apply the recommended infection prevention and control precautions.

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Information for Health Care Providers