MERS ( Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) (MERS-CoV), a virus new to humans, is a form of the Coronavirus that spread in the middle east, and lately death case due to this virus has been reported in USA.
As of 2 May 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, the Philippines, and the United States. The official WHO (World Health Organisation) MERS count is 238, with 92 deaths. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of these people died. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday( the 2nd of May 2014) that the first case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome has been confirmed in the United States, in what officials are calling “a rapidly evolving situation.” the CDC said the infected person was providing healthcare in Saudi Arabia before traveling to Indiana via Riyadh, London, and Chicago. So far, since 2012, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact. However, the virus has not shown to spread in a sustained way in communities. The situation is still evolving. MERS and SARS coronaviruses are relatives. MERS coronavirus is closely related to SARS coronavirus. SARS originated in China and claimed 800 lives worldwide in 2002 and 2003. It is not known for certain where the MERS virus came from. However, it likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV, indicating they were previously infected with MERS-CoV or a closely related virus. However, it is not sure whether camels are the source of the virus. More information is needed to identify the possible role that camels, bats, and other animals may play in the transmission of MERS-CoV. Someone is not considered to be at risk for MERS-CoV infection if they have not had close contact, such as caring for or living with someone who is being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection. If a person develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries, they should see a healthcare provider and mention your recent travel. Till now there is no vaccine and no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by MERS-CoV. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.