Saudi Arabia | A virus transmitted from camels to humans... Is “Middle East Syndrome” a cause for concern?

2024-05-18 2024-05-18T15:01:40Z
ندى ماهر عبدربه
ندى ماهر عبدربه
صانع مُحتوى

Weather of Arabia - Health agencies are racing against time to determine the origins of the MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia, following the emergence of three confirmed cases of infection in people who had no direct contact with camels, which are the main known source of this virus, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph.

The virus that causes the disease is known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and it belongs to the same family as coronaviruses, but it carries a much higher mortality rate, with 35 percent of confirmed cases dying, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus is usually transmitted from single-humped camels, and most previous outbreaks have been linked to people who work in close contact with these mammals, or consume their raw milk.

However, authorities have been unable to link the current outbreak to animals. The latest cases were discovered when a 56-year-old professor in the capital, Riyadh, went to hospital in early April. The situation has raised concerns that less severe cases could spread undetected.

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What is Middle East respiratory syndrome?

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Coronavirus, and was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The coronavirus that causes this syndrome is a zoonotic virus, which means it is transmitted between animals and humans, and has been linked to human infection in dromedary camels in several countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Tassa, an epidemiologist, confirms that Middle East Syndrome “is one of the types of coronaviruses, and its origin, like all other coronaviruses, is from bats, but it was transmitted to camels before infecting humans.”

Al-Tassa explained in a statement to the media that the latest wave of this syndrome “was very severe, more than the Covid-19 that we have witnessed,” and caused high death rates.

Globally, 2,204 cases and 860 deaths have been reported, according to the World Health Organization, and the vast majority of these cases, more than 80 percent, were recorded in Saudi Arabia.

The death rate among infected cases reaches 35 percent of the total infections reported to the World Health Organization.

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After recording new infections with the "Middle East Syndrome" virus in Saudi Arabia, does the situation cause concern?

The World Health Organization confirmed that these developments have not changed its assessment of the seriousness of the virus, which is still at a “moderate” level at the regional and international levels.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Corona virus. It was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus is transmitted between animals and humans, and is linked to human infection in dromedary camels and other countries.

Regarding symptoms, they include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, with the possibility of pneumonia. You can get the disease without showing symptoms, but human-to-human transmission in health facilities is a serious issue.

It should be noted that World Health considers the global spread of a new virus to be a matter of time, and urges alertness and readiness to deal with it.

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Sources:

alhurra

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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