Another day, another pandemic on the horizon.
But as MERS spreads its ways across the Asian continent, scientists are far less worried than tabloid headlines might suggest.
According to New Scientist magazine, the disease has hit South Korea hard. Cases have more than doubled, making it the second most infected country after Saudi Arabia.
Seven people have died so far – but with a virus with a 37 per cent fatality rate, more are likely to come.
Calling this a pandemic would be beyond the pale. So far, to some relief from the general population, MERS has stayed confined to hospitals, and shows little sign of spreading at an alarming rate.
Moreover, only one strain of MERS has been infecting people, and predominantly in a South Korean hospital with previous experience of treatment.
Spreading and prevention
A full scale outbreak, similar to the SARS panic of 2003, is yet to become a reality. But the only real buffer between infection and prevention is good hygiene in hospitals.
Effective waste disposal and personal hygiene levels are the key to success in most diseases – and especially in the case of MERS.
The virus is spread through “respiratory secretions”, meaning all surfaces and waste surrounding an infected party could be affected.
Our advice should come as no surprise – the hygienic hospital is the one designed for disease prevention. Get in touch if you want to know more.