U.S. Confirms First Case of MERS Virus – Muslim Pilgrims May be Particularly 'Vulnerable'
By Sachin Trivedi | May 5, 2014 2:44 PM EST
The first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a man traveling from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Chicago via London. The virus was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters
The MERS virus is a respiratory infection that is genetically different from the SARS virus. According to the Health Department of the New South Wales government, the virus has already claimed the lives of 93 people as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The cases of the MERS virus have been reported in Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, UK, Tunisia, Malaysia and the Philippines. According to the officials in the U.S, they were anticipating the virus to spread to the country eventually and have been preparing for it.
The symptoms of the virus include shortness of breath, coughing and fever. The preventive measures that people can take include frequent hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Timely diagnosis of the virus and general treatment can be life-saving.
Millions of Muslims worldwide make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia each year. There has been no travel advisory against traveling to the Middle East countries but WHO has provided some travel advice to people who plan to travel.
Although it is relatively difficult for the MERS virus to spread but certain people with medical conditions may be more susceptible. People with diabetes, chronic lung disease and immunodeficiency have been advised to consult a professional before deciding on taking a trip.
While in the Middle East, if a person develops the symptoms of the MERS virus, the person has been advised to minimize contact with others and seek medical attention immediately and not wait until he returns to his home country.
Countries have been advised to maintain up-to-date information regarding the MERS virus and maintain laboratory with adequate facilities to test the virus. This should help in efficiently detecting the virus early to help the patient and also check the spread of the virus.
There are still no cases reported of the MERS virus in Australia. The Health Department is taking all necessary steps to raise awareness among the public and prevent the spread of the virus in the country.
More Articles to Read
'Star Wars Journeys' to Promote Episode 7 - Interactive Story Telling App to Focus on Next Generation of Fans [Watch Trailer] [Read]
'Saddest Story Ever' Video Goes Viral - Shows How 'Difficult' Life Can Be [Read]
Top 3 Movies This Weekend - 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' 'Belle' and 'Walk of Shame' [Read]
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 7 Finale Spoilers: Kurt Sutter On Ending The Biker Series And Picking The Right Song For The Final Ride
- Prince Charles’ Wife Camilla Parker-Bowles In Drug Scandal - Reports
- Prince Harry Kissing Mystery Blond, Cressida Bonas & Camilla Thurlow Are Distant Memory
- St. Louis Rams 28, Seattle Seahawks 26 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Australia's 'No Way' Anti-Asylum Seeker Poster Sparks Outrage