Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like COVID-19, MERS, and SARS. Coronaviruses are common in humans as well as many types of animals. This includes camels, cats, cows, and bats.
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus not previously seen.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
MERS is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Health officials first reported MERS in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Symptoms include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 3 or 4 out of every 10 patients with MERS die. All cases of MERS are linked to travel to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for MERS. Treatment is supportive.
The last known case of MERS in the US was in 2014.
Additional MERS Resources
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
SARS is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Health officials first reported SARS in Asia in 2003. The SARS global outbreak illness spread to more than two dozen countries before containment. Since 2004, there are no known cases of SARS.
The illness usually starts with a high fever of more than 100.4°F. Other symptoms include headache, discomfort, and body aches. About 10 to 20 percent of patients have diarrhea. After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry cough. Most patients develop pneumonia. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for SARS. Treatment is supportive.