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What is the most recent CDC guidance for the MERS-CoV Virus?

Q: What is the most recent CDC guidance for the MERS-CoV Virus?
A: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are closely monitoring an ongoing outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). On June 11, 2015, the CDC issued updated guidance that supersedes the previous guidance issued July 2014.

Background Information on the MERS-CoV Virus:

  • MERS-CoV stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
  • MERS-CoV is a beta coronavirus, and was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia
  • MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused the previous SARS virus in 2003.
  • Symptoms include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath
  • The mortality rate is 30%, which is very high compared to other respiratory pathogens
  • MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact
  • Only two patients in the U.S. have ever tested positive for MERS-CoV infection, both in May 2014, while more than 500 have tested negative.


CDC Interim Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with MERS-CoV:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued interim guidance on how healthcare facilities can respond to suspected cases of MERS-CoV. There is NO CHANGE in current infection prevention practices for hand hygiene and environmental disinfection. Clinicians should continue to use their current EPA registered surface disinfectant and alcohol-based hand sanitizer in accordance with the CDC Guidance below.


Environmental Infection Control Recommendations:

  • Ensure cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
  • Standard cleaning and disinfection procedures (e.g., using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces or objects for appropriate contact times as indicated on the product’s label) are appropriate for MERS-CoV in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. If there are no available EPA-registered products that have a label claim for MERS-CoV, products with label claims against human coronaviruses should be used according to label instructions.
  • Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures.


Hand Hygiene Recommendations:

  • Healthcare Providers should perform hand hygiene before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of PPE, including gloves. Hand hygiene in healthcare settings can be performed by washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water, not alcohol-based hand rubs.
  • Healthcare facilities should ensure that facilities and supplies for performing hand hygiene are readily available to all personnel.

PDI offers Super Sani-Cloth®, Sani-Cloth® AF3, and Sani-Cloth® Bleach wipes for environmental surface care which all have existing efficacy claims for Human Coronavirus. PDI also offers Sani-Hands® products for hand hygiene. All of these products can be used in accordance with the CDC Guidance.

CDC dedicated website on MERS-CoV:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, electronically accessed on June 23, 2015 from