Two Years Later, MERS Is Snowballing

April 23, 2014

CamelWhen MERS was first discovered two years ago, there were so few cases, and no sign of human transmission, that it quickly fell out of the spotlight.

But in the last week alone, over a hundred new cases have appeared. Previous research has indicated that MERS comes from camels—outbreaks were occurring after camel races and among camel herders. Not in the last week, though—MERS cases are appearing among healthcare workers, indicating it’s now spreading between humans.

Researchers are concerned that MERS is mutating, and demanding that Saudi Arabia/the Middle East provide more data about those infected so the world can work together to find solutions. (China, for instance, has provided tons of information about its bird flu outbreak).

With such an explosion of MERS, there’s now a far more genuine risk to the rest of the world.

MERS is a part of the coronavirus family, just like SARS. It causes severe respiratory illness (flu or pneumonia like symptoms).

For the next few months, only people traveling to or through the Middle East need to be wary. So if you have an exotic vacation planned, steer clear of anyone showing flu like symptoms, and keep your immune system strong.

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