- How to manage a suspected MERS case in General Practice
- Testing for MERS
- Advice for contacts of cases
- State and Territory Communicable disease branch/centres
- Further information
Infection control recommendations for suspected cases aim to provide the highest level of protection for health care workers, given the current state of knowledge. In patients with compatible symptoms and exposure history, GPs should follow standard and transmission based precautions (contact, droplet and airborne) for infection control, to minimise the risk of spread of MERS. The recommendations include:
- Keep patient in a single room with the door closed
- Contact precautions, including careful attention to hand hygiene
- Encourage patient to use respiratory etiquette
- Ask patient to wear a mask
- Use personal protective equipment, including a P2 mask/respirator, gloves and eye protection
- Single use equipment wherever possible
- Clean areas where the patient has been after they have left.
The Royal Australasian College of General practitioners (RACGP) provides infection control standards for office-based practice, available from the RACGP website.Top of page
If transferring a patient to the emergency department, please ensure your phone call and letter of referral includes details of relevant travel history, or known exposure to confirmed or probable cases and include details of any relevant treatments or investigations undertaken for the patient. Ensure the ambulance personnel are informed so appropriate PPE can be used.
Please also remember to inform your local public health unit / communicable disease control branch about the case urgently.
It should not be necessary to collect diagnostic specimens in a general practice setting as this is best done as part of a comprehensive follow up plan and with ready access to appropriate PPE and reference laboratory facilities. Patients should be referred to a hospital for investigation and management.
The relevant state/territory public health unit/communicable diseases branch must be notified urgently of any suspected (and probable or confirmed) cases in order to discuss patient testing and/or referral and coordinate management of contacts.
Confirmed and probable cases must be reported to state/territory public health authorities immediately on being classified as such. State and territory authorities should notify the Commonwealth Department of Health which is responsible for reporting to WHO (under International Health Regulations 2005).
Contacts of cases should be directed to your state/territory communicable disease branch/centre for advice.Top of page
Contact your state/territory communicable disease branch/centre.
- ACT - 02 6205 2155
- NSW - 1300 066 055 Contact details for the public health offices in the NSW Local Health Districts
- NT - 08 8922 8044 Monday-to Friday daytime and 08 8922 8888 ask for CDC doctor on call – for after hours. Contact details for the public health offices in the NT
- QLD - 13 432 584 Contact details for the public health offices in the Qld Area
- SA - 1300 232 272
- TAS - 1800 671 738 (from within Tasmania), 03 6166 0712 (from mainland states) After hours, follow the prompt “to report an infectious disease”
- VIC - 1300 651160
- WA - 08 9222 8588 After hours 08 9328 0553 Contact details for the public health offices in WA
- Information on how to manage a suspected MERS case in a hospital setting can be found on the Department of Health website.
- WHO situation updates and the latest advice is available from the WHO website
- DFAT’s Smartraveller website information for travellers
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MERS-CoV pages
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - MERS