Symptoms of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS-CoV) Virus Infection

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A new aggressive pathogen has recently been identified; it's a coronavirus that causes symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that may become severe or deadly. The disease is termed MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS-CoV). The disease was first noted in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Researchers suggest the MERS virus originated in animals (camels) and, like other viruses, mutated to be able to infect humans. MERS has currently spread to about 18 countries over the world to date (for example, Egypt, Turkey, France, Greece, Tunisia, Italy, UK, and the U.S.). Unfortunately, in March 2014, the numbers of people infected started increasing worldwide. There is worldwide concern about this infection; of the approximately 500 individuals diagnosed with MERS so far, about 30% have died, resulting in a 70% survival rate.


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