Love the USA?
Love the USA?

MERS Threat:  It is important to note this originates from

the Arab Middle East –  A modern day source of terrorism.

On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. imported case of MERS was

confirmed in a traveler from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. On

May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was

confirmed in a traveler who also came from Saudi Arabia.

The two U.S. cases are not linked. On May 16, 2014, an

Illinois resident who had contact with the first case of MERS

in the U.S. tested positive for MERS-CoV.

Two years ago, the virus didn’t even have a name. A year ago

it had infected roughly 50 people, half of whom died. Now,

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has been confirmed in

more than 600 people, and killed nearly 30 percent of its


Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, MERS has been

carried via travelers to the United States (two reported

cases), North Africa, and Malaysia, as well as a handful of

European countries.

Adding urgency to the anxiety, the annual pilgrimage to

Mecca in early October will draw more than a million people

through the city of Jeddah, the outbreak’s “ground zero.”

Why not a vaccine NOW?

Finding an attackable target on the surface of a virus is

relatively easy these days, and there’s nothing about the

MERS virus that is likely to make it difficult to attack. But

testing the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine could easily

take six years—as it did to develop a meningococcus B

vaccine to address an epidemic in New Zealand—and will

likely cost upward of half a billion dollars, said Philip

Dormitzer, global head of virology for Novartis Vaccines.


Karen Weintraub

National Geographic

The rise in the reported number of MERS cases in the

United States, Asia and Europe has fueled concern that this

virus may be the big one: the 21st century equivalent of the

1918 influenza pandemic that killed 3% to 5% of the world


MERS, like 70% of all emerging infectious diseases,

including influenza, SARS, HIV/AIDS and ebola, originates

in wildlife. With MERS, both bats and camels may be

implicated. Studies of camels in Saudi Arabia indicate that

the majority have a history of MERS coronavirus infection.

Infection appears to occur in early life and then clears. Up to

a third of young camels carry this infectious virus. Because

camels are born in the spring, there may be an increased

amount of virus circulating in camels in spring and summer

months. This may contribute to a seasonal spike in the

reported number of MERS cases.

The MERS coronavirus can be stable for up to 48 hours.

MERS virus contracted in the U.S. Hospitalized patients

with pneumonia-like MERS receive vigorous respiratory

interventions such as intubation, assisted ventilation, drugs

that dilate airways and chest percussion. These

interventions may bring virus into the environment in

aerosols and on the surfaces of medical equipment,

resulting in infection of hospital personnel and other

patients.  t may be difficult to determine the source of

infection as people and equipment circulate in the health

care environment.

To date, cases of human-to-human transmission have only

been reported in hospitals and in families where there is

intimate contact with an infected person. If we notice a

change in this pattern such that clusters of infections begin

to appear in communities with more casual contact, that

would be a strong sign that the virus is evolving to become a

pandemic threat.

Source:  W. Ian Lipkin is John Snow professor of

epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and

Immunity at Columbia University and CNN

Yours in the Bonds of Fellowship

James R Cathey ThD PhD

Ordained Minister of Jesus our Lord since 1975

Growing Together in the Bonds of Fellowship
Growing Together in the Bonds of Fellowship

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