Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

MERS Update: Situation Still Not Good

May 19th, 2014

MERS Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Deadly Virus
The situation for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in the USA is still not good and getting worse. Unfortunately, two more cases of the deadly virus have been found within the United States. We reported on the first case of MERS here. The good news is that the first person who contracted the virus is no longer sick.

The second case turned up in Florida on May 8th. It is unrelated to the first case and currently being investigated by the CDC (Center For Disease Control). Though, the person who contracted the disease is a healthcare worker and recently returned from an overseas trip.

The third case was found in Illinois. This one is related to the first case of MERS as both men were business associates and had extended contact. What makes the third case more worrisome is that the MERS virus was transmitted on U.S. soil. This is the first known case of MERS to have been transmitted on U.S. soil. Currently, the latest victim has shown only slight signs of sickness and is being closely monitored.

Situation: Not Good – MERS Reaches U.S.

May 4th, 2014
MERS - Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Getty Images – Celeste Romero Cano

Its official, the deadly virus known as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) has infected someone within the United States. So far the U.S. has only one confirmed case, but the CDC (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) expect more to follow. The person infected has been hospitalized, quarantined and is currently in good condition.

In a Press Release published by the CDC they stated:

“We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We’re doing everything possible with hospital, local, and state health officials to find people who may have had contact with this person so they can be evaluated as appropriate. This case reminds us that we are all connected by the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. We can break the chain of transmission in this case through focused efforts here and abroad.”

Worldwide over 260 people in 12 different countries have been infected by MERS. MERS is a type of virus strain not unlike the common cold, but can be far more deadly. It’s in the same family of viruses as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). During the outbreak of SARS in 2002 and 2003 there were 8,273 confirmed cases with 775 resulting in fatalities.

The symptoms of MERS include severe acute respiratory illness, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. On average one out of three MERS cases result in death. To make things worse, officials are not sure how the deadly virus spreads. Researchers believe MERS originated from camels because it has been found in a number of camels within multiple countries. Though, the virus has also been found in a bat. Currently, there is no vaccine or medicine designed to treat MERS. Although, Doctors are able to treat the symptoms.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.