The first known case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has hit the U.S., generating concern by doctors and patients alike. The individual in question traveled by two planes and one bus on a journey, possibly spreading the problem to others.
The syndrome first appeared in 2012 with about 250 cases. The virus has already spread quickly through dialysis centers, hospitals, and other kinds of health care facilities in other countries. What is even more disturbing is that there is no treatment, cure, or vaccine for the medical problem. To date, there is little that can be done to treat an affected patient, but he or she should be vigilant about interacting with others.
Although MERS goes after the respiratory system like a cold, a victim will suffer a worsened condition and it ultimately causes renal failure and pneumonia. Experts in the health care field are already expressing concern that the affected individual was allowed to travel.
Doctors should be on guard to watch for symptoms of this disease. A failure to diagnose a syndrome that can spread very quickly with no cure is a very serious medical problem with the potential to have big ramifications.
Since the symptoms are so similar to the common cold, the chances of misdiagnosis may be high, although there is a specific tests doctors can use to diagnose MERS.
Reports about this disease are a reminder that misdiagnoses are a threat. Not all medical misdiagnoses are caused by medical negligence. In some cases, a doctor can do everything right and still arrive at an incorrect or inconclusive diagnosis. But, in other cases doctors fail to provide proper care and medical evaluations and this leads to a misdiagnosis. Those who have suffered due to a misdiagnosis in California may benefit from seeking legal counsel to learn about their legal options.
Source: NBC News, “U.S. Reports First Case of MERS,” Maggie Fox, May 2, 2014