Via Arab News, an interview with Dr. Batool Mohammed Suliman Ali: Shortness of breath main indicator of MERS coronavirus, says expert. She is not entirely reassuring. Excerpt:
Q: Do I need to wear a face mask to prevent becoming infected?
A: There is no need to wear face masks in public places, such as shopping malls, workplaces or on the street. It is only indicated for health care workers who are seeing patients with the coronavirus, at a distance of under a meter-and-a-half. Wearing a mask for a long time will not protect a person against the virus, but will instead increase the risk of infection. People should use it for short periods at a time, and discard the used ones.
Q: How do I know the difference between MERS and a regular cold or flu?
A: If you have high fever, a cough and shortness of breath, then it could be MERS. Shortness of breath is an important indicator.
Q: If I get MERS, does it mean I will die?
A: No, not at all. A number of people who were infected have recovered and been discharged. There are also several people who are positive for MERS and have no symptoms at all. It may be unlikely to catch MERS from these people.
Q: What is the first thing I should do if I suspect I have MERS?
A: You need to go to the emergency section of a hospital and see a doctor.
Q: If I have been infected with MERS, can I go to any hospital or are there specific hospitals that handle MERS cases?
A: In Jeddah, it is King Fahd Hospital.