Symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

Learn about the symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and what to do if you become ill.

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What are the symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome?

Some people who have been infected with the MERS virus show no symptoms.

In other cases, people who are infected get sick very quickly. They may experience mild flu-like or more severe pneumonia-like symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • breathing difficulties like shortness of breath

Other symptoms may include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

What do you do if you become ill?

Contact your health care provider immediately if you:

  • have recently travelled to the Middle East or another country with a MERS outbreak and
  • are showing some of the listed symptoms within 14 days of returning to Canada

Call ahead to your health care provider to tell them about your symptoms and travel history before your visit. Arrangements can then be made to see you without exposing others to your illness.

Make sure to tell your health care provider your full travel history. This includes:

  • which countries you have visited
  • whether you had contact with a sick person
  • whether you visited a health care facility while abroad

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