The symptoms of MERS include fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Some people also develop nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Often more serious complications can occur, such as kidney failure and/or pneumonia. It has been found that some people who become infected show no symptoms at all, or only mild flu like symptoms. Incubation time is between two to fourteen days, with the most common time for symptoms to show being between days five and six (CDC, 2015d).
Risk factors for this disease include having been exposed to a person known to have MERS. Risk increases if the person exposed has any preexisting conditions that weaken the immune system, such as having diabetes, chronic lung infection, kidney disease, or autoimmune disease. Those persons are also at increased risk for developing a worse, or fatal case of MERS (CDC, 2015d). Additional risk factors include having travelled to or near the Arabian Peninsula, or coming in close contact with someone who has. Travelers should monitor themselves for the following two weeks for any symptoms of a respiratory illness or fever, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, or sore throat. Healthcare professionals that are caring for a person with known or suspected MERS are also at increased risk. They should be following strict infection control measures such as