MERS Coronavirus Facts

MERS Coronavirus Facts
MERS coronavirus is also known as MERS CoV. Its full name is Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus. Prior to being called MERS CoV the virus was simply known as novel coronavirus but in 2013 it was changed. The first case of MERS CoV was confirmed in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, then in Qatar. Since then it has been reported in over 21 countries. MERS CoV is not easy to transmit but it is more readily transmitted between people in very close contact, making it riskier for healthcare workers. It is believed that the virus originated in bats and then in camels, and then to humans.
Interesting MERS Coronavirus Facts:
Symptoms of MERS CoV infection include shortness of breath, coughing, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and fever.
The fatality rate among those who have been diagnosed with MERS CoV is roughly 36%.
Although MERS CoV is a respiratory coronavirus the method of transmission is not fully understood.
MERS CoV is a zoonotic virus which means it is transmitted mainly from animal to humans, and camels are believed to be the main source. Human to human transmission is believed to be a risk when people are in very close contact with an infected person.
There has been no reported sustained transmission within a community, but there have been clusters of cases in some healthcare facilities reported.
MERS CoV is reported to be spreading through the Arabian Peninsula. Over 85% of cases of infection have occurred in this region since 2012.
The largest outbreak of the MERS CoV outside of the Middle East occurred in the Republic of Korea.
In countries where MERS CoV was imported via travelers there have been no cases of secondary transmission reported.
People that visit places where animals that could carry the MERS CoV live should be sure to wash their hands after touching animals and avoid touching any animals that may be sick.
When the possibility exists that an animal may be infected with MERS CoV its meat should be fully cooked.
Those at higher risk of contracting MERS CoV include people with kidney failure, diabetes, lung disease, or those who are immunosuppressed.
Anyone at high risk for MERS CoV infection should avoid drinking raw camel milk, or eating undercooked camel meat, and should avoid contact with camels if possible.
There is no known treatment or cure for MERS CoV. Treatment is based on the infected individual's symptoms.
The World Health Organization has stated that the transmission risk of MERS CoV from human to human is low, but not impossible.
Countries where MERS CoV has been identified in include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, Indonesia, Austria, the United States, China, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and several more.
MERS CoV is one of several coronaviruses and was originally thought to be SARS-like it is now considered to be distinct from it and other betacoronaviruses.
MERS CoV is more common in countries where camels are consumed for their meat or where their milk is consumed by humans.

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