MERS virus that threatens humans also found in camels - WFLA News Channel 8

MERS virus that threatens humans also found in camels

Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...

TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists looking for the origin of the MERS virus, which has infected at least 182 people since 2012, have found that it is widespread among camels in Saudi Arabia.

A new study revealed MERS is particularly prevalent among young camels and has been around for at least two decades. The researchers noted, however, their findings do not prove that MERS spread to humans from camels, and more investigation into the origin of this respiratory illness is needed.

"Our findings suggest that continuous, longer-term surveillance will be necessary to determine the dynamics of virus circulation in dromedary camel populations," study senior author W. Ian Lipkin, of Columbia University in New York City, said in a news release from the American Society for Microbiology.

MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, is a serious viral respiratory illness. The World Health Organization reports the illness has claimed 79 lives since 2012. Although most diagnosed cases of MERS occurred in Saudi Arabia, researchers were unsure about the source of this new virus.

Because the first known case of the illness involved a man who had four pet camels, researchers looking for the origin of MERS have focused on camels as well as bats.

In conducting the study, published Feb. 25 in mBio, the investigators collected blood samples from dromedary camels throughout Saudi Arabia. They also took swabs from the rectum and nose of camels as well as sheep and goats in November and December of 2013.

The scientists tested the samples looking for the active virus and antibodies reactive with the MERS virus. They also tested older blood samples taken from dromedary camels between 1992 and 2010.

The study revealed that 74 percent of the camels examined had MERS antibodies. Moreover, more than 80 percent of adult camels in Saudi Arabia had antibodies to the virus. The prevalence was even higher in younger camels. The researchers found 90 percent of those in the eastern part that were 2 years old or younger tested positive for MERS antibodies. Meanwhile 5 percent of young camels in the southwest also tested positive.

Active MERS virus was also identified in 35 percent of the young camels' nasal swabs and 15 percent of adult camels. The researchers noted MERS was found less often in rectal samples and not detected in blood. They concluded the virus is probably spread through respiratory secretions.

"Our study shows the MERS coronavirus is widespread," explained Lipkin. "Adult camels were more likely to have antibodies to the virus while juveniles were more likely to have active virus. This indicates that infection in camels typically occurs in early life, and that if people get the virus from camels, the most likely source is young camels."

The researchers noted samples dating as far back as 1992 contained antibodies to the MERS virus, which suggests the MERS virus or a closely related virus has been infecting animals in Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about MERS.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.