MERS, or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, a cousin to SARS, has popped up in South Korea.
Bad news first: 25 people have been confirmed, with another 5 suspected, of having the virus. Many of those were not quickly diagnosed, and since MERS spreads easily through hospitals (the way many have already been infected) there will probably be more cases. One infected person hopped on a plane to China before being diagnosed days later—and that is expected to worsen/spread the outbreak.
Good news: South Korea is on top of it, and will be better able to handle the situation then previous countries with large outbreaks. They’re also working closely with WHO, so that there’s a better chance we’ll learn more about MERS during this outbreak.
Could MERS come to the US?
Yep. Remember, we have a lot of soldiers still over there, as well as many people who visit back and forth. Just one has to get on a plane and land in a hospital that isn’t prepared for it.
BUT, any outbreak here would probably be pretty quickly contained.
What are symptoms of MERS? Like many diseases, MERS has flu-like symptoms.
That means you just need to follow standard best-practices for supporting your immune system:
-Rest—and that’s a thousand times more important if you feel ill.
-Eat—don’t let yourself run out of fuel, especially if you’re sick.
-Exercise—rule of thumb if you feel sick: if it’s all above the neck, exercise is still good, below the neck (chest) and it’s time to rest.
With MERS, the big risk is it turning into an aggressive case of pneumonia. People with a weakened immune system are more at risk, and anyone with symptoms that are severe or last more than a week or two without improvement should visit their doctor.
Another issue with MERS is that some people are far more contagious than others—so transmission is slightly less predictable than with other diseases. In the current South Korean outbreak, it’s already spread down a chain of people (think of a phone tree–it’s already 3-4 branches deep).
For now, sit tight, keep an eye on the news, and support your immune system with colloidal silver.