Some Basic Info
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries. Most people infected with MERS developed severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many of them have died.
- MERS has spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person.
- MERS can affect anyone. MERS patients have ranged in age from younger than 1 to 99 years old.
Now, The News:
- South Korea today reported the 16th death in an expanding MERS outbreak and announced financial aid to the tourism industry, warning earnings could be slashed by up to $2.3 billion as thousands cancel travel plans.
- More than 100,000 foreign travelers, mostly from China, have already cancelled trips to South Korea since the beginning of June and more are expected to follow suit.
- MERS broke out in South Korea less than a month ago. Hospitals at Centre of Outbreak
- There is no vaccine for MERS which has a mortality rate of 35 per cent, according to the WHO.
- In Saudi Arabia, more than 950 people were infected and 412 died from the disease.
- MERS is also called ‘Camel Flu’
- The MERS virus appears to have originated in bats. The viruses have been present in bats for some time and had spread to camels by the mid 1990s. The viruses appear to have spread from camels to humans in the early 2010s.