Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:18 am
The source? Signs of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus have been detected in camels on the Arabian Peninsula. But it's still a mystery how people catch the disease.
Credit Sean Gallup / Getty Images
A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.
Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.
A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:09 am
So cute, but not cuddly. The Egyptian tomb bat, <em>Taphozous perforatus</em>, is a likely carrier of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS.
Credit Courtesy of Jonathan H. Epstein/EcoHealth Alliance
For nearly a year, disease detectives around the world have been trying to track down the source of a mysterious new virus in the Middle East that has infected 96 people and killed 47 since September.
Now it looks like they've pinpointed at least one place where the virus is hiding out.
Scientists at Columbia University have detected the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS, in a bat near the home of a man who died from the disease. The team found a small fragment of the virus's genes in the animal that matches perfectly with those seen in the patient.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:56 am
A dromedary camel waits for a tourist to hop on its back in Petra, Jordan. The country has recorded two cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome.
Credit Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Looks like Arabian camels might be hiding more than just fat in those furry humps.
Scientists have found evidence that dromedary camels — the ones with just one hump — may be carriers of the lethal coronavirus in the Middle East, which has infected at least 94 people and killed 46 since first appearing in Saudi Arabia last year.
Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf on Sunday. In eastern Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks of the MERS virus have been concentrated, people have resumed their habits of shaking hands and kissing.
Credit Fayez Nureldine / AFP/Getty Images
A detailed analysis of how the disease called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome spread through four Saudi Arabian hospitals this spring reveals disturbing similarities to the SARS pandemic that terrified the world a decade ago.
The World Health Organization is warning health care workers everywhere to suspect a disease called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, whenever they see a case of unexplained pneumonia.
Monday's warning comes at the end of a six-day WHO investigation in Saudi Arabia, where 40 of the 55 cases of the respiratory disease have occurred. Sixty percent of those people with known infections died.