– Written by Shah
There is a new disease on the horizon which is already claiming lives abroad. This disease is called MERS, which was discovered in 2012. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has 25 new cases on file since May 2015. It reported spread to South Korea on May 4th, 2015, when a business man returned to South Korea, was treated at a local hospital from May 15-17th, and infected 22 people. Since then, close to 700 people have been quarantined.
The same type of experts who attributed AIDS to humans having sex with monkeys are attributing MERS to camels. It is reported that there are over 1,000 people infected worldwide, with the latest outbreak in South Korea. Hundreds of South Koreans have been put into quarantine, with dozens more in China. This taking place not even a year after the Ebola Virus threw Americans into a panic.
MERS is actually quite similar to SARS, which emerged from China in 2003. It doesn’t transfer between people as easily as SARS did, which is why the outbreak isn’t much worse. However, the mortality statistics place the deaths at close to 50% of those infected. This means your chances of being infected are relatively lower than similar diseases, but in the event of infection, your chances of survival are almost half.
Currently, the disease is striking the hardest in Saudi Arabia. What relates this to Americans is that one of the biggest religions here, and in the World, Islam, requires it’s practitioners to make a trip to Mecca, Saudi Arabia once in a lifetime. Although Mecca is not among the top cities within Saudi Arabia with reported infections, it certainly isn’t anything to ignore. It is very possible that an American Muslim can go to Mecca to make Hajj (pilgrimage) and become infected with MERS, and come back to the USA and infect others.
MERS has also been found in France, and England. In this age where there is a great deal of fear, MERS is just one more hazardous concern in an already stressful time, however awareness is more important. Through awareness, we take precautions in order to prevent infection. As the disease spreads, doctors also have more live samples to test in order to create a cure, or to tell us how not to get it.