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Since May 2015, the Republic of Korea has been investigating an outbreak of MERS. It is the largest known outbreak of MERS outside the Arabian Peninsula.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent MERS-CoV infection. The U.S. National Institutes of Health is exploring the possibility of developing one.
CDC routinely advises that people help protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by taking everyday preventive actions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
If you are caring for or living with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, MERS-CoV infection, see Interim Guidance for Preventing MERS-CoV from Spreading in Homes and Communities.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for MERS-CoV infection. Individuals with MERS can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, current treatment includes care to support vital organ functions.
If you think you may have been exposed MERS-CoV, see People at Increased Risk for MERS.