Queen's University

Queen's University expert comments on the MERS outbreak

2014-04-22

Queen’s University infectious diseases expert Dick Zoutman is available to comment on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in Saudi Arabia.

“MERS-CoV is showing signs of spreading,” says Dr. Zoutman. “Almost 28 per cent of cases have been identified in the last month or so and seem to be similar to SARS in that it has a tendency to spread within health care settings.”

There are currently no drug treatments or vaccines against these forms of Coronaviruses.

“We must rely on surveillance, advanced knowledge and proper infection control as preventative practices. These were key to our overcoming the outbreak of SARS in Toronto and other centres in 2003.”

During the 2003 SARS outbreak, Dr. Zoutman chaired the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee that advised the Ontario government on combat strategies. Dr. Zoutman is a medical microbiologist at Queen’s University, as well as Chief of Staff at Quinte Health Care.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Rosie Hales at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca, or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca

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Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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