A respiratory illness that is caused by a virus.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, also called MERS, is a respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus. The virus was first reported in the Middle East and most infections take place in that region. The virus that causes MERS has spread mostly among people who had contact with camels or those providing care for a person with MERS.


MERS symptoms can include fever and cough that may lead to pneumonia. Some people have stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. The kidneys and the lining around the heart also can be affected.


MERS treatment focuses on easing symptoms while the MERS virus runs its course. Treatment includes rest, fluids, pain reliever medicine. People with serious symptoms may need to receive extra oxygen.