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Live virus implicates camels in MERS outbreak
Date:4/28/2014

gaili, PhD, director of the Mammals Research Chair at King Saud University. "This report builds on work published earlier this year when our team found that three-quarters of camels in Saudi Arabia carry MERS virus."

To date, at least 300 people have been infected with the virus that causes MERS and approximately 100 have died since the first documented case in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. Of these, more than 60about one-fourth of the global total since MERS was identifiedhave been reported in the past month. Most cases have been in Saudi Arabia, with lower numbers in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, and more recently Malaysia and the Philippines, have also reported cases related to travel to the Middle East. While human-to-human transmission has occurred, the source of the disease in most cases has remained a mystery.

"Although there is no evidence that MERS-CoV is becoming more transmissible, the recent increase in reported cases is a cause for concern," says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity and the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School. "It is essential that investigators commit to data and sample sharing so that this potential threat to global health is addressed by the entire biomedical research community."


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Contact: Timothy S. Paul
tp2111@columbia.edu
212-305-2676
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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