MERS virus: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Virus was in news in the first week of June 2015 as for the first time two patients infected by MERS virus died in South Korea.
So far, there have been 25 confirmed cases of MERS since a man tested positive following a trip to Saudi Arabia and became the country’s first MERS patient in May 2015.
MERS was discovered in 2012 and has mostly been centred in Saudi Arabia. It belongs to the family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold and SARS, and can cause fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.
The virus is thought to be primarily acquired through contact with camels, but it can also spread from human fluids and droplets.
There have been 1167 cases of the virus worldwide and 479 of the patients have died, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
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Where: South Korea
When: first week of June 2015