I don’t know if you have been following the MERS outbreak in the news but it does raise some concern. The CDC issued a MERS advisory yesterday. July 11, 2015 ABC news story covering CDC announcement of MERS outbreak status.
There are several animal and avian viruses that show the potential of becoming easily transmissible to humans. MERS, H7N9 and H5N1 are already spreading in humans, although not easily. The last major jump from animal to human occurred with the 1918 flu pandemic where an estimated 40 million people died. Mortality from MERS is currently 330-40% in the Middle East and 10% in South Korea. As health care workers, how we approach infectious disease precautions will have a lot to do with how safe we and our patients are in the workplace. Continue reading