In addition to other outbreak control measures, epidemiologists and MERS experts working with the WHO underscored these three key measures1:
Early and complete identification and investigation of all contacts; robust quarantine/isolation and monitoring of all contacts and suspected cases; full implementation of infection prevention and control measures; and prevention of travel, especially internationally, of infected persons and contacts.
Selected hospitals should be designated for safe triage and assessment of suspected MERS cases. This will help protect healthcare workers while also minimizing the potential disruption of regular service delivery due to potential public reticence to seek help in facilities treating MERS patients.
To ensure the public is fully informed of developments in the outbreak, regular information should be provided in both Korean and English. This should include information on the evolution of the outbreak as well as measures to be taken or avoided. Channels most likely to be seen by the population, such as television and social media, should be used for maximum reach. Local government must be fully engaged and mobilized in the national fight against this large and complex outbreak.
1. World Health Organization: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Republic of Korea. Situation Assessment: 15 June 2015: http://bit.ly/1IJHfGF.