Risks of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

Find out the risks of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and who is most at risk.

What are the risks of getting Middle East respiratory syndrome?

MERS is rare, but it can cause serious illness and even death. There have not been any reported cases of MERS in Canada.

So far, most reported cases have occurred in people:

  • living in or travelling to the Middle East
  • who have had contact with a sick person who has recently travelled to the Middle East

The MERS virus does not appear to spread easily from person to person.

Of the MERS patients who have died, many of them already had other medical conditions, such as:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease

Based on available information, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended any restrictions on travel or trade.

Canada continues to assess the risks of MERS to Canada on an ongoing basis. We work closely with our national and international partners, including WHO. Together, we monitor MERS around the world.

For more information on travel risks, see Canada’s travel health notice.

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