MERS death toll rises in Saudi Arabia
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/4/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Saudi Arabia continues to suffer from the ongoing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome epidemic, and Saudi officials have upped the official death toll to 282 since 2012, up from their previous death toll of 190, according to a June 3 report from the Saudi Ministry of Health.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has been nicknamed the Saudi Arabian SARS due to the similar symptoms between the two disease. Nearly 300 people have died due to MERS since 2012.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - So far there have been 688 reported cases of the SARS like virus. Of these, 353 patients have recovered and 53 are still receiving treatment.
In late April, the Ministry of Health reported just 339 known cases of the disease, and at that time, only 102 cases had resulted in death.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, is a viral respiratory infection-in the same group of illnesses as the common cold, which may cause fever, heavy coughing, shortness of breath, muscle pains, gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, or abdominal pain. Complications from MERS can also lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, or swelling of the muscles around the heart.
Saudi Arabia's acting Health Minister, Adel bin Mohammed Fakieh, announced that he was sacking Deputy Health Minister Dr. Ziad Memish that same day.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that around 30% of those infected with the disease have died.
There is no vaccine or special treatment for the disease.
Egyptian virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki reported the first confirmed case of MERS in 2012 after he isolated and identified a previously unknown coronavirus from a man's lungs.
The second case occurred in September of that year when a 49-year-old man from Qatar presented similar systems, and was found to be infected with a nearly identical virus.
According to an update summary of MERS released in March, recent studies show that humans become infected through physical contact with camels. Another study shows that bats may be ultimately responsible for the disease; African and Australian bats do harbor the virus and could have transmitted it to camels, which then carried the virus to Saudi Arabia when they were imported.
There may be no cure for MERS yet, but there are just as many diseases that are equally deadly, or worse. Malaria is one of them, and you can help fight against one of the top child killing illnesses in the world. One small donation can do a great deal of good against this terrible pandemic.
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