Middle East Sees Spike in Cases of Lethal Virus
92 have died since 2012
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 14, 2014 11:14 AM CDT
This image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows a novel coronavirus particle, also known as the MERS virus.   (AP Photo/NIAID - RML)

(Newser) – A respiratory virus identified in 2012 has since claimed 92 lives—and recent days have seen cases soar. Last week, Saudi Arabia reported 15 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome within four days; this weekend, the United Arab Emirates announced that paramedics were the victims in six additional cases. One of the health workers died. Yesterday, Yemen announced its first case, Reuters reports. There have been some 228 cases in all, the Wall Street Journal reports, with last week seeing the highest numbers so far. "I'm not pretty sure that they are actually seeing how big this thing is," says a doctor at a major Saudi hospital.

"What I really wish for is to shut the whole hospital down" while the disease is surging, she adds. Patients have steered clear of the place, where one health worker has died. Another Saudi Arabian health worker is in intensive care, and other workers have tested positive for the disease without symptoms. "As far as we know, MERS-CoV does not spread easily from person-to-person, so these clusters (among health workers) suggest a breakdown in infection prevention and control," says an epidemiologist. Despite the spike, Saudi Arabian officials say appropriate measures are being taken to limit the disease's spread.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Apr 17, 2014 9:39 AM CDT
The Middle East needs to step into the 21st Century...at the very least. But I don't see that happening anytime soon. No wonder Israel has a wall around itself!
Apr 15, 2014 1:35 PM CDT
"...there SHALL be conquest, war, famine and death(pestilence)...." God gave us a brain and clean, moral living and hygiene has always been a good start to improve ones lot in life. Question: Why, in this "modern" world haven't educated East Indians insisted that the masses start digging toilets in India instead of letting the millions of Indians poop in the rivers? Just saw a video of a river that was literally boiling with the gases from decomposing fecal matter in a river that the people were drawing their drinking water from!
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 14, 2014 11:26 PM CDT
Well lets see. We get aids as a way to help manage the vast unfeedable masses of Africa all thanks to UNESCO and WHO. Then Ebola is unleashed on society to test out human reaction to yet another GMO virus. It does not pan out as desired. UNESCO then increases nutrition of Africa and girls are pregnant at age 9. That in turn causes a reversal of all the aids efforts to keep the continents population at bay. Massive population surges happen and massive suffering increases in famine zones. Africa needs a new virus. Who is very closely related to people of African? Middle Easterners are direct relatives to them and if you can develop a viral agent it can spread easily down the chain and you get a net benefit. You think they are only connected through a very limited land link but they are connected through thousands of sea links. That gives plenty of time to fully saturate delivery vectors.