The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus known as MERS-CoV is caused by a virus that is within the same family of viruses that create the normal type of cold. This particular strain of virus was identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. It has not just remained restricted to this region as there have been cases reported in several other countries. What has been noted is that the cases that have been reported outside of the Middle East were by individuals that had recently traveled there.
There are several symptoms that come with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus that can creates a shortness of breath as well as a cough and fever. Additional symptoms that can come with it are nausea that can lead to vomiting as well as diarrhea. These combined symptoms may appear as though one has a cold and a bout of the flu all at once. It is not unusual for those that contract this virus to end up with pneumonia. There have been some cases where sufferers have ended up with organ injury. Then there are others who may be in fact infected with the virus but don’t have any symptoms.
The concern that comes with MERS-CoV is that about 36% of those who have contracted this disease have died as a result of it. Those who are at most risk are individuals who do not have a strong immune system because it has been compromised, or those with chronic illnesses like diabetes, or those who suffer with the various lung diseases.
Being as there is no vaccine for this virus and it has the potential to be life threatening for some people, WHO tracks it carefully. In the latest report released by this organization it is indicated that there are 2,081 confirmed cases on a global scale, and it is indicated that there have been 722 deaths that can be linked to this virus. The UAE has reported an additional occurrence of the virus in one individual.
This is a virus that can be spread by human to human contact so proper sanitary procedures must be implemented to ensure that it does not spread. One of the concerns that WHO has is ensuring that health care facilities be vigilant in regards to ensuring that the MERS-CoV does not appear in their facilities which could turn into a widespread concern should this happen. There is still a lot to be learned about this virus, and until a vaccine can be developed to deal with it there are many who could be at high risk for contracting it.