Friday, May 02, 2014

Camel-Related Coronavirus MERS-CoV Hits Indiana

A disease that has jumped from camels to humans has landed in the USA. The first American case of MERS-CoV has been reported in Indiana, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday, May 2, 2014.

But where in Indiana? In what town or city has this scary new illness appeared.

MERS-CoV, short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a type of coronavirus.

Since the first documented cases in spring 2012, MERS has sickened at least 339 people in Saudi Arabia alone and killed nearly a third of them, according to the country's Ministry of Health. 

Mers is the latest health scare to hog headlines as modern international travel has increased the speed in which viral diseases can spread across vast distances.

A Malaysian man from Johor who developed respiratory complications after returning from Mecca died on April 13, 2014, becoming the first person from Asia to die from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) coronavirus.

As of April 16, 2014, the World Health Organisation has recorded 238 cases of the disease and 92 deaths globally.

On April 26, 2014, the Ministry of Health of Egypt reported the first laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the country.

The patient is a 27-year-old man who has been living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the past four years. The patient had contact with a previously laboratory-confirmed case (his uncle) who died on April 19, and another laboratory-confirmed case (neighbour of his uncle) who is still under treatment in a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The patient became ill on April 22, returned to Egypt on April 25 and was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on April 26.

This "Indiana" patient flew to Chicago from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, via London, then took a bus to northwest Indiana. He fell ill on April 27 and was hospitalized the next day. The patient is currently in a stable condition.

On April 29th, new research pinpointed the source of the respiratory-virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people: Arabian camels. New evidence shows that camels are likely the source of the ongoing outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, a viral respiratory illness that has led to the deaths of more than 100 people, according to a new study published in the journal mBio and the latest Bloomberg news report.

The current range (above) of the dromedary, also called the Arabian camel or the Indian camel (Camelus dromedarius) - pictured directly below and at top.


The range (above) of Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) - pictured directly below.

Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, King Saud University, and EcoHealth Alliance extracted a live, infectious sample of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from two camels in Saudi Arabia. They found that this sample matched the virus found in humans on a genetic level.

As the New York Times has pointed, 
The virus is thought to have originated in bats, but it is also widespread in camels. While it has not spread easily between humans, there have been outbreaks within families and in hospitals, where patients have infected paramedics, nurses and doctors.
Travelers to the Middle East have been warned to stay away from farm animals, and camels in particular. Camels are raised for meat and milk, for racing, and to haul goods. So-called beauty camels are kept as pets and entered in beauty contests.
Experts suspect that raw camel milk and meat transmit the virus.

As of May 1, 2014, the Mers-CoV has killed 107 people in Saudi Arabia and is a cousin of the Sars virus that erupted in Asia in 2003. Two new cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-CoV) have been detected in Jordan, the health ministry has said . One was a Saudi man and the other a Jordanian doctor who was treating him.The state news agency, Petra, said this brought to seven the total number of people who were diagnosed in Jordan with the severe respiratory disease since 2012.

Now, on May 2nd, as we watch the Mers-CoV spread around the world, it has turned up in America, in Indiana.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Red Pill Junkie said...

There's a biblical parable waiting to be written...