Camels suspect in deadly virus
LONDON - Reuters
Camels may be involved in infecting people in with the MERS virus.People infected with a deadly virus that emerged in Saudi Arabia last year may have caught it from one-humped camels used in the region for meat, milk, transport and racing.
In a study into what kind of animal “reservoir” may be fuelling the outbreak in humans, scientists said they had found strong evidence it is widespread among dromedary camels in the Middle East.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has been reported in people in the Gulf, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 46 people have died out of a total 94 confirmed cases, the majority in Saudi Arabia. “As new human cases of MERS-CoV continue to emerge, without any clues about the sources of infection except for people who caught it from other patients, these new results suggest that dromedary camels may be one reservoir,” said Chantal Reusken of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, who led the study.
“There are different types of contact of humans with these animals that could lead to transmission of a virus.”