Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus (nCoV), is a viral respiratory illness, which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Human cases infected with the MERS-CoV present with a variety of symptoms that range from mild illness to more severe disease. Most patients present with severe acute respiratory infection requiring hospitalization; however, some confirmed cases have presented with mild to moderate symptoms.
TIDREC collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Tabung Haji (TH) to conduct a multi-year MERS-CoV surveillance programme at country’s main international entry point. More than 2,500 Hajj pilgrims volunteered to participate in the programme. The program would utilize the existing health screening infrastructure and add to it a post-pilgrimage health assessment which includes a follow up blood draw and survey questionnaire.