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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Coronavirus resurfaces in Saudi Arabia

Six new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus [MERS-CoV] have been reported in Saudi Arabia, according to recent reports. The victims range in age from 35 to 87, four of which residing in the capitol of Riyadh. These new cases have health officials alarmed that a resurgence of the novel coronavirus could occur, especially with the 2013 flu season about to begin.

MERS under a microscope
Discovered in June 2012, MERS-CoV has proven to be a stubborn and highly mobile virus. While 87% of the victims have been Saudi-based, isolated cases have been reported across multiple nations in Europe and the Arabian region, causing the World Health Organization to list it as a 'threat to the entire world.'

Symptoms of a MERS-CoV infection include severe acute respiratory illness, fever, cough, renal failure and pneumonia. Its estimated incubation period of nearly two weeks makes it an extremely dangerous virus, for it is able to travel undetected for days at a time. There have now been 136 verified cases of this novel coronavirus; of these cases 58 deaths have resulted, which translates into an alarmingly high fatality rate of 45%.

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