News on Wellness

Middle East on Alert after 4 More Infected with MERS in Abu Dhabi Reported to WHO


The official Saudi press agency reported that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus has infected over 11 people in Jeddah. Out of the 11 recorded cases, the health authority has revealed that 2 patients have died, 3 are undergoing treatment and 6 have been reported to have recovered completely. This is inclusive of a health worker testing positive for the virus.


As per the report, 4 additional cases have been reported by Ministry of health of Saudi Arabia to WHO. The recent report includes a 59 year old man who is diabetic and on dialysis has been identified positive to be infected. Other 3 are a 77 year old lady from Riyadh and a couple of 26-year-old men from Jeddah, of which 1 died.

MERS is a combo of SARS and cold caused by a tropical coronary virus. The last deadly outbreak (SARS) was reported to have killed over 800 people in 2003 alone. However, MERS does not spread like SARS between people and hence it cannot be considered an outbreak yet said health officials of WHO.

While questioned on more than two deaths, the health authorities denied and brushed it aside as rumour. They informed the media that this Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is similar to the one that affected the Middle East in the year 2012. At is closely related to the SARS virus and show symptoms like high fever, coughing, pneumonia and when untreated causes kidney failure.

As per WHO, the number of infections caused by MERS is very small. However, the seriousness is due to its fatality rate, which is over 40% among the confirmed cases. Health officials and scientists are working to find the link and the reservoir of infection. According, to some scientists, camel could be the animal reservoir where the virus is multiplying. However, it is not yet confirmed because the infected include a 64 year old man and a 77 year old woman who have no exposure to camels.

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