Guidance Issued to PA Physicians for Collecting and Testing Specimens for MERS

On May 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) sent an advisory through its PA Health Alert Network (PA-HAN) to provide guidance to physicians for collection and testing of specimens for MERS -CoV, a potentially fatal virus linked to the Arabian Peninsula that was recently confirmed in the U.S.

Health care providers can sign up to receive these types of alerts through DOH’s PA-HAN.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) hosted a media call-in on May 19 to raise awareness of the disease among Pennsylvania media, providers, and the public.

There are currently no known cases in Pennsylvania. Since the beginning of May, the first three cases of MERS in the U.S. were confirmed in Indiana, Florida, and Illinois.