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  • Editorial: Lessons Learned From the MERS-CoV Outbreak

    The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is not the first, nor will it be the last, infectious disease outbreak that the world will experience. COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is responsible for over a million deaths worldwide [1]. Two previously identified coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), have been responsible for outbreaks of severe respiratory illness in the recent past. The 2003 SARS outbreak was associated with greater than 8000 reported cases and more than 700 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 9.7% [2]. The MERS-CoV outbreak emerged in 2012 and resulted in greater than 2000 reported cases and more than 800 deaths in 27 countries and was associated with a very high case fatality rate (34%) [2]. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it bears repeating the old adage that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In the case of the MERS-CoV outbreak, health systems identified strategies to manage cardiovascular care in spite of the public health crisis. More recently, governmental and regulatory bodies and health systems needed to quickly adopt similar strategies for management of patients with acute cardiovascular events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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