Introduction: Saudi Arabia was affected by an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We aimed to determine the perception of risk and level of stress among nurses.
Methodology: A questionnaire survey was administered to determine the perceptions of risk of MERS-CoV infection.
Results: The majority of the participants were females (332; 86.0%), and there were 54 (14.0%) males. Of the 386 respondents, nurses constituted the majority of the respondents (293; 75.9%), and there were 34 doctors (8.8%). The percentage of exposure was found to be greater in those who were working in the intensive care unit (ICU) (89; 23%). There was a significant difference in the worry and fear scale of contracting the MERS-CoV infection between participants who worked in isolation areas, ICUs, and emergency rooms (mean: 3.01±1.1) compared to participants who worked in areas that are less likely to admit and have MERS-CoV suspected or positive cases (mean: 2.77±1.1; p = 0.031. Females were significantly more worried and fearful of contracting the virus compared to males (mean: 2.92±1.1 versus 2.61±1.0, respectively; p = 0.045).
Conclusions: MERS-CoV caused a relatively significant level of distress among nurses. There was a difference in the worry and fear scale of contracting the MERS-CoV infection between participants who worked in areas likely to admit and have MERS-CoV suspected or positive cases. After the campaign, the level of confidence got higher and the participants were more adherent to the infection control precautions.