The Lancet releases updated report on MERS

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome | Courtesy of the CDC
The Lancet has compiled a report on the Midde East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus for its October issue, detailing the outbreak of MERS in South Korea and evaluating the ongoing toll the disease has taken on Saudi Arabia.

In South Korea, the outbreak is reported to have been limited to health care facilities and a minimal number of household transmissions. There have been 186 cases in the nation, of which 36 were fatal

Saudi Arabia has seen 1,223 cases since the virus since 2012.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there have been approximately 1,569 confirmed MERS cases globally with 554 deaths attributed to the disease. Of those, approximately 520 were in Saudi Arabia.

It is reported that a carrier of the virus are dromedary camels, a common domestic animal in the region. The pattern of infection is indicative of repeated introduction of cases from an external source.

The Lancet
suggests that health authorities, researchers and government officials should prepare themselves against an emergence of MERS that has the potential for increased transmission capacity up to the pandemic level. WHO officials also called for continued research in the infection methods of the coronavirus and to identify risk factors for those working in health care facilities.

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