MERS has infected at least 850 people since it first emerged two years ago.
Saudi scientists have found gene fragments of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in air from a barn housing an infected camel and say this suggests the disease may be transmitted through the air.
MERS, a serious respiratory illness caused by a virus known as a coronavirus (CoV), has infected at least 850 people since it first emerged two years ago and killed at least 327 of them, according to latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The vast majority of human cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but isolated MERS cases have been reported across Europe and in Asia and the United States in people linked who have recently traveled in the Middle East.
Scientists are not sure of the origin of the virus, but several studies have linked it to camels and some experts think it is being passed to humans through close physical contact or through the consumption of camel meat or camel milk.
However, in this latest study, published in the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology mBio, scientists said the detection of the virus in air samples was concerning and needed to be followed up.
On 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for Saudi Arabia reported an additional 7 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the death of a previously reported case.
Though the officials in Bahrain confirmed that the Kingdom is free from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a senior health official has warned that the deadly virus remains a threat to the entire world.
CIDRAP Saudi Arabia, UAE report more MERS cases CIDRAP WHO said global understanding of the disease continues to evolve and that all countries should be alert for acute respiratory infections and investigate any unusual patterns.
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On 22 June 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for the Islamic Republic of Iran reported to WHO an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.
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Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV.