FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Tennessee officials issue MERS health alert

Late last week, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) issued an alert to health care providers in response to a Korean outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS Co-V).

In the alert, the department urged providers to ask patients about any recent travel, to be on alert for symptoms of the illness while assessing patients, and to share any pertinent information with public health officials.

“While we remain vigilant and ready to respond rapidly should the need arise, at this time there are no known cases of MERS Co-V in Tennessee,” TDH commissioner John Dreyzehner said. “Our health care partners have been asking the critical travel history questions for many months and we are simply reminding them to heighten their index of suspicion and to remain operationally ready to assess any such patient.”

MERS Co-V, which was first seen in 2012 in patients in Saudi Arabia, now exists in more than 20 countries. Victims of the respiratory illness could develop severe symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, coughing or even death.

For more information about the current health situation in Korea and China, visit For more information on TDH or its services, log on to

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Tennessee Department of Health

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