MERS: What you need to know

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According to World Health Organisation, the middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified back in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. With its recent outbreak in Asia, scientists believe the virus was imported to Asia from the Arabian peninsula. This infection is a serious one with the virus claiming the lives of 36% of the reported cases of people infected.

How did this virus come about?
It is understood that MERS is a zoonotic virus that was transmitted from animal to humans and it’s origin is believed to be from bats and camels.
Is it transmittable?
The virus is very much transmittable and the number of victims are increasing in some Asian and middle east countries with Saudi Arabia having the most cases since it was first discovered in 2012. It is transmitted mainly through providing unprotected care to infected person(s) or having close contact with an infected person.
Symptoms
>Fever
>Cough
>Shortness of breath
>Pneumonia
>Diarrhoea
The virus appears to cause severe illness to people with weakened immune system and those with chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
What Preventive measure and treatments are on ground?
>any one visiting a place where animals are must practise good hygiene by washing hands before and after touching animals. Also he or she must avoid touching sick animals.
>avoid raw or undercooked animal products
>there are currently no specific treatments or vaccines available to combat this infection so preventive measure must be taken by everyone. Persons with diabetes, cancer, renal failure and chronic lung cancer are considered as being at high risk of being infected.
Although this outbreak is a serious challenge,  WHO advises that no travel or trade restrictions are necessary. Stay safe, healthy and keep a good hygiene.

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