MERS Hits US Soil

May 14, 2014

Doctor NurseVacationing in Florida this summer? You may already be familiar with the Jacksonville area outbreak of tuberculosis. Now, Florida may be dealing with a small MERS outbreak.

Healthcare workers were exposed to a patient that was later diagnosed with MERS, and so far 2 have come down with symptoms while another 20 are being tested as a precaution.

MERS presents with flu like symptoms, making it hard to distinguish from the hundreds of other diseases with flu-like symptoms (at least initially). What makes MERS scary is that in about a third of cases, the flu-like symptoms turn into a fatal case of pneumonia.

While US health officials urge calm, as it’s mostly healthcare workers at risk and not the general public, WHO is meeting to potentially declare public health emergency. While the risk to US citizens is still very low, the Middle East has seen a huge explosion of cases. Something has changed to cause an increase in the cases, but unfortunately, there has not been enough data shared for the world’s researchers to really make progress on MERS.

Here’s the good news: your strategy for dealing with a potential MERS threat is the same for dealing with the numerous other diseases (bird flu, seal flu, etc.) perched to cause problems.

1) If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home. This allows you to rest, and stops you from spreading the disease to others.

2) If symptoms worsen after a few days, or continue past a week, see a doctor. Get to a doctor earlier if you have other health concerns that might complicate being sick.

3) Prevention is key! Keep your immune system strong—rest, eat well, exercise, and add an immune supporting supplement like colloidal silver (especially when you travel!).

And here’s one more step you can take: like other virulent diseases, MERS originated in animals. Keeping animals healthy is key to preventing bird flu, MRSA, and diseases like MERS, so vote with your money. Buy eggs and meat from places that use better practices (more space in how they raise them, no antibiotics unless ill, etc.). It can only save us all money in the long run. (In fact, if you buy locally, many places are very transparent and allow tours).

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