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MERS, a New Respiratory Virus found in Saudi Arabia

Jul 28, 2013 16:57 IST

MERS:Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a New Respiratory Virus related to SARS spread in Saudi Arabia

A new respiratory virus related to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) has killed 39 people in Saudi Arabia. Scientists have named this respiratory virus as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The new virus is related to the respiratory virus SARS that killed more than 800 people across the world in 2003. It belongs to a family of viruses that most often cause the common cold. SARS emerged in China.

As per the clinical analysis undertaken by the British and Saudi researchers, the MERS virus bears similarities to SARS virus, but there also exists important differences between the two.

As per the data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012 has killed 45 deaths across the world. WHO confirmed the data based on the reports of 90 laboratories. It also issued a travel guide for the pilgrims going on Haj in Saudi Arabia stating that the health risk caused by the virus was relatively low.

The identified symptoms of MERS include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea and vomiting.

The cases of MERS have been identified in the Middle East - with patients in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Few cases related to it were also seen in France, Italy, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.

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