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  1. Almutairi, Khalid M. PhD
  2. Al Helih, Eyad M. PhD
  3. Moussa, Mahaman PhD
  4. Boshaiqah, Ahmad E. PhD
  5. Saleh Alajilan, Abdulrahman PhD
  6. Vinluan, Jason M. BSc
  7. Almutairi, Abdulaziz MSc


New cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were reported in Gulf countries in 2014, and to date, it has reportedly infected 837 people and killed 291 globally. Awareness of an individual's knowledge and being able to predict his or her behavior is crucial when evaluating clinical preparedness for pandemics with a highly pathogenic virus. The aim of this study was to identify awareness, attitudes, and practices related to MERS-CoV among the public in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study of 1147 adult subjects recruited from various shopping malls in Riyadh was conducted. All the subjects were interviewed using a questionnaire that tested their knowledge, attitudes, and use of precautionary measures in relation to the MERS-CoV pandemic. The majority of the participants showed high levels of concern and had utilized precautionary measures. After adjusting for other variables, gender was the only significant predictor of the level of concern (P < .001), while knowledge was the significant predictor of both the level of concern and precaution (P < .001). High concern translated into a higher compliance with precautionary recommendations. Frequent communication between health care providers and the public is recommended to help dispel myths about the disease and to empower the public with the information needed to help the Saudi government in containing the disease outbreak.