Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MERS Moves to Austria

Yesterday evening, Austria’s Ministry of Health Confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS). The MERS Virus (MERSV) was found in a Saudi Arabian woman traveling to Austria who became ill while in the country. She is currently in isolation and treatment at a Vienna Hospital.
With this new case of MERS, the total count of infected individuals who have brought the virus into the EU reaches a round dozen. Although, a few of these European cases were in fact caused by secondary contact with other infected individuals. Symptoms of MERS can include fever, respiratory distress, congestion pneumonia, liver failure and in some cases diarrhea.

Source: Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health
            In the Middle East, where the virus originated, Saudi Arabia’s  Ministry of Health has confirmed 754 (and counting) cases of MERS by the laboratory, of which it reports 319 have resulted in deaths. This mortality rate of 42% makes MERS more deadly than its cousin SARS, although this respiratory disease is considered to be less infectious.
Saudi Arabia has, for the most part, begun to control the outbreak as only 9 active cases are currently confirmed. Looking at the infection history, numbers have appeared to level off with the peak of infection occurring late April. Since early June, new cases seem to be at a minimum.

---Lauren Sweet

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