Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/21/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Deadly virus now claims 38 lives, mostly in Saudi Arabia

The World Health Organization has convened an emergency meeting in order to devise ways of battling the mysterious MERS virus, now described as the single biggest worldwide public health threat. Officials fear a pandemic far more deadly than SARS, after MERS has claimed 38 lives, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

'You don't want to have this,' Dr. Jon Bible, a clinical scientist, who treated one of the three British MERS cases last year, says. Sufferers 'are very close to death at all times. They are in respiratory distress at all times; it's like a very serious pneumonia.'

"You don't want to have this," Dr. Jon Bible, a clinical scientist, who treated one of the three British MERS cases last year, says. Sufferers "are very close to death at all times. They are in respiratory distress at all times; it's like a very serious pneumonia."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/21/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: MERS, outbreak, Saudi Arabia, fatalities, epidemeology, Mecca


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Eighty officials and doctors gathered in Cairo to examine ways of tackling Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The coronavirus is of particular concern as the annual Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia to observe Mecca are to begin shortly.

Over the next three days, the WHO will look at developing guidelines for Ramadan. In October, more than two million people are expected to attend the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

"Everyone is very aware of the fact that Ramadan begins next month and that there will be a large, large movement of people in a small crowded spaces," Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO said. "So the more we know about this virus before that starts the better."

There are also concerns that tourists could bring the virus back to their home countries. It appears to have an incubation period of up to 12 days and a fatality rate of 60 percent. ERS has been reported in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Jordan. Most were patients transferred home from the Middle East for treatment or people who had travelled to the region and became ill after they returned.

"You don't want to have this," Dr. Jon Bible, a clinical scientist, who treated one of the three British cases last year, says. Sufferers "are very close to death at all times. They are in respiratory distress at all times; it's like a very serious pneumonia." One of his patients patient at St. Thomas's Hospital survived after several months of artificial respiration and even now has breathing difficulties.

MERS has not yet mutated so as to gain the ability to jump easily from person to person. "We have been lucky it hasn't started to spread in any sustainable way between humans. We still have time, but we have to use that time to act," Hartl says.

An investigation of nearly two dozen cases in eastern Saudi Arabia revealed the virus has some striking similarities to SARS, which killed 800 people around the world as it spread a global health panic in 2003. Scientists remain baffled about the source of the new virus, which was first reported in April of last year.

The symptoms of both are similar, with an initial fever and cough that may last for a few days before overpowering pneumonia develops.

"To me, this felt a lot like SARS did," Trish Perl, a senior hospital epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine says. Perl said they pinpoint how it was spread in every case; through droplets from sneezing or coughing, or a more indirect route.

The team was alarmed to find MERS only spread within hospitals, even though some hospital patients were not close to the infected person. "In the right circumstances, the spread could be explosive," said Dr. Perl.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Health

Heart pump, size of a golf ball, could change lives of millions of patients Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired father-of-three, 63-year-old Harry Chivers suffered a heart attack last year. His health failing, he anxiously awaited for a possible heart transplant when he was offered the chance to become a pioneer in heart health research. Fitted with a heart pump ... continue reading


Do you know what a can of Coke really does to your body? Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although Coke and sodas are a favorite for people all over the world, sodas are something that slowly changes our health and can lead into a number of diseases from the high amount of processed sugar. Starting from the first 10 minutes after a can of Coke is consumed, ... continue reading


Discovery of five different kinds of prostate cancer heralded as breakthrough Watch

Image of While many men have prostate cancer, it can grow so slowly it might not cause any problems until the patient eventually dies of something else.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered the most common cancer among men can be classified into five types, depending on its DNA. This is a breakthrough in prostate cancer research, and once the type of cancer is identified, the patient's survival rate ... continue reading


8-year-old boy becomes youngest double-hand transplant patient Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Surgeons believe 8-year-old Zion Harvey is the youngest to receive a double-hand transplant. The boy lost both of his hands over a severe infection years ago and opted to go through a transplant with the support of his parents. After the initial success of the ... continue reading


World's first malaria vaccine wins approval from European drug regulators Watch

Image of Mosquirix must first win agreement from African governments as the vaccine only offers only partial protection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world's first malaria vaccine is a go with European drug regulators after it was recommended safe and effective for babies at risk of the 'mosquito-born disease' in Africa. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called Mosquirix, the vaccine was developed by ... continue reading


560-pound man sets out to bike across the U.S. to lose weight and save his marriage Watch

Image of [Photo by: ABC News]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To try to live a healthy life, get a job and save his failing marriage, a 560-pound man decided to embark on a biking journey across the United States. He has already traveled about 90 miles since he started last month and has lost around 60 pounds during the first two ... continue reading


Catholic organization's approach to female reproductive health a 'game changer' Watch

Image of Together with his colleagues, Dr. Thomas Hilgers developed NaPro (Natural Procreative) Technology. In Omaha in 1985, they founded the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, and in 1999 formally created the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.

By Gabrielle Cubera, CNA EWTN News

With the hope of providing authentic and ethical health care for women, Dr. Thomas Hilgers, creator of Natural Procreative Technology, has worked for decades to establish a medical network that studies, understands, and treats the female fertility cycle. Omaha, ... continue reading


Have scientists found the key to shut off aging? New study with worms finds success Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have uncovered how to switch off the aging process, during a recent study with worms, which could possibly lead to the process being successful in humans. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The new study showed that adult cells of worms shortly ... continue reading


New eye drops may soon replace cataract surgery Watch

Image of Vision could cease altogether if cataracts remain untreated. Cataracts cause more blindness worldwide than any other eye condition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inexpensive and easy to administer, a new eye drop may soon make cataract removal surgery obsolete. A frequent bane of existence that afflicts the elderly, the new drops dissolves the clumps of protein that clouds vision. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cataract ... continue reading


Superhero DNA desired by pharmaceutical researchers for new drugs Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They don't have the ability to fly or come with laser eyes, but there are people who exist today with the "superhero" genes. Similar to the figures portrayed in media, these people have ordinary lives with extraordinary physical abilities because of uncommon biological ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 11:4-15
4 The rabble who had joined the people were feeling ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 81:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
12 So I left them to their stubborn selves, to follow ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Lydia Purpuraria
August 3: Lydia Purpuraria (1st century) was born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar), ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter