Should We Fear The MERS Virus?

Should We Fear The MERS VirusThe world has been shaken recently by the announcement of a new virus called the MERS-CoV, which is found in Saudi Arabia. According to the director of the World Health Organization, this virus is a “threat to the entire world.” So, should we fear the MERS-Cov?

‘We know so little’

The WHO has named the novel coronavirus as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), since majority of those who have caught the illness have been to Saudi Arabia. What seems to be the most alarming thing about the virus is that we know so little about it. At present, nobody can tell how fast it develops and how exactly it can be controlled. And that’s where the MERS virus gets its advantage.

‘The same pattern’

Remember when the world was struck with panic when the Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus was announced? Right now, we can almost see the same pattern coming out here. A new virus develops. Somebody dies. The WHO announces what it is. Everybody scrambles to research about it. More people die. More research about the treatment. A positive result comes out from the research. Life goes on.

That sounds simple enough. But right now, while we are still at the beginning of that pattern, it is quite understandable why everybody is afraid of the MERS. And with good reason. If you don’t have enough knowledge about that virus, you don’t know how to defeat it. And until we find a very good way to manage and defeat that deadly virus, it will remain deadly, and we will remain cautious and afraid.

Have you been hit by a coronavirus before? Do you think scientists will find a way to manage the MERS-CoV soon?

Image: The Lancet

WHO: New SARS-Like Virus Is A Threat To The World

WHO New SARS-Like Virus Is A Threat To The WorldA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans is “a threat to the entire world,” according to the director-general of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

‘Not SARS’

Novel coronavirus is part of a family called coronaviruses, which cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases. However, the new virus is not SARS.

The virus had infected 44 people worldwide as of last week, most of them in the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent update Thursday. Half of them have died. Also in its Thursday update, the WHO appeared to have given the novel coronavirus a name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

‘Not yet known’

Novel coronavirus acts like a cold virus 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.

It’s not yet known how humans contract the virus, experts have said. Most of the cases so far have been seen in older men with other medical conditions; precise numbers are hard to come by, as officials don’t know how many people might contract a mild form.

Cases have been identified in eight countries including France and Saudi Arabia, according to the WHO. Other European countries include Germany and the United Kingdom. No cases have been reported in the United States, but infectious disease experts have said it would not be surprising.

Are you alarmed by this health news? Do you know of a similar case in your place?

Source: CNN

Image: The Voice of Russia