Middle East respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is caused by a new strain of virus from the genus Betacoronovirus and causes similar symptoms of respiratory distress in humans to the virus from the same genus that caused SARS (severe, acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. Sars causes 775 deaths worldwide and to date there have been 44 confirmed cases worldwide and 23 of these patients have died.
The majority of the cases have been in KSA or the patients had recently visited KSA, Dubai, UAE or Jordan. The WHO has alerted health officials throughout the world with regard to this new virus which has spread from human to human, but research is also ongoing to discover if this new virus is present in animal hosts. One report from KSA refers to a MERS patient having been in contact with a sick camel but there is no information available as to whether the camel was also infected with the MERS virus. Some coronaviruses can infect animals such as bats, pigs and goats and animals that patients have had contact with will be tested wherever possible.
In the meantime all veterinarians and medical staff should also be aware of the dangers posed by this novel infection and report any acute respiratory infections in animals where human respiratory infections also occur .
الاخوه الاطباء البيطريين يرجى متابعة حالات الامراض التنفسيه للحيوانات التي ربما تكون على مساس مع اشخاص يشكون من امراض تنفسيه
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