News on Wellness

Another Tropical Virus – Mers Taking a Toll on Lives

Virus Mers

A relatively new class of corona virus, first recorded in 2012 in Middle East, has yet again showed its presence. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, there are eleven new suspects for the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus being admitted.  Two people have been reported dead, while three others are undergoing treatment. The reports from Saudi Press Agency have revealed that only six patients are nearing recovery.

Virus Mers

MERS causes severe infection leading to acute respiratory illness. Symptoms range from coughing, sneezing, fever and short of breath. The symptoms are similar to SARS virus. Organizations within the country are working with Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand the disease, check on the routes of transmission and find a cure.

This recent outbreak has also affected health workers. In King Fahd hospital in Jeddah, one health worker was tested positive for the virus. The emergency unit was immediately closed for disinfection. Subsequent tests on other health workers also showed signs of prone to infection. Similarly a nurse at King Abdel Aziz hospital was tested positive earlier however no other workers in that hospital were infected.

Immediate containment is suggested by health officials and care givers.  Although the world wide cases of MERS are relatively less till date, there is more than 40% death cases registered over the past couple of years. Earlier diagnosis is bliss here. Symptoms are common like pneumonia.  Timely therapy can reduce mortality rates for this virus.

There have been cases reported in other parts as well like Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Tunisia. Scientists are trying to focus on the possibly of contamination through camels.  The exact link between human infection and animal sources are yet to be established.


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