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

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More Lives

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More LivesA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

‘Connection to the Middle East’

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere. However, “all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” the WHO said earlier this month. But “in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East.”

On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.

‘Tackle the virus’

Coronaviruses 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 WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said. The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.

Have you experienced symptoms of infection of MERS-CoV? Do you think this virus is indeed a threat to the world?

Source: Ben Brumfield, CNN

Image: Press TV