Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
• Lack of travel history to mainland China or other affected areas, or of close
contact with an infected person in the 14 days prior to symptom onset.
• Initial reports suggest that the clinical course of COVID-19 is less severe
and the case fatality rate is lower compared with MERS (approximately 2% to 3%
for COVID-19 versus 37% for MERS); however, there are no data to confirm this
and the situation is rapidly evolving.
• Gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory tract symptoms appear to be less
common in COVID-19 based on early data. 
• Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
(RT-PCR): positive for MERS-CoV viral RNA.