New Virus MERS-CoV may lead to future outbreak – with video in links

This is one post that I had put on the back-burner, but the news has become more prominent. I first heard of this in February.

There’s a new deadly virus that is similar to the virus that caused a worldwide outbreak in 2002-2003. The newly-named “Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus,” or MERS-CoV, is a coronavirus that’s similar to SARS virus. The current illness pattern started in Saudi Arabia, where most of the illnesses and deaths have occurred.

Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to from the common cold to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases.

MERS-CoV has been detected in humans in eight countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week — Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.

Fox News reported today that Saudi Arabia has reported that three more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths globally to 30. The Ministry of Health said Thursday the three deceased, ranging in age from 24 to 60, had chronic diseases, including kidney failure.

Ministry also announced a new case of the respiratory virus, bringing to 38 the number of those infected in the kingdom. It identified the afflicted person only as a 61-year-old from the Al-Ahsa region where the outbreak in a health care facility started in April.

The World Health Organization said the new germ, a respiratory infection, was first seen in the Middle East and sickened more than 49 people worldwide.

Health care workers can get it while treating patients. Many of the sick in Saudi Arabia are health care workers.


The illness starts out like a cold and attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen, according to the WHO.


CNN states 5 things to know about this virus:

  1. No widespread transmission yet – those that have it get it from family members or in a health care setting. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, has said the infection is “very serious” but appears “very difficult to acquire.”
  2. No cases in the United States yet, but infectious disease experts have said they would not be surprised if it made it to the States.
  3. Underlying health conditions make you more susceptible
  4. No travel warnings have been issued
  5. There are no treatments and no vaccine


References: (CNN References have videos)


One comment

  1. […] a year ago, I wrote about a new virus that was spreading across the Middle East.  In the past two weeks, news came of incidences of […]

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