POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (8.2.2021, 10:13am CEST, WHO):   India 40,134    Brazil 37,582    Russia 22,804    France 23,381    The United Kingdom 25,754    Turkey 22,332    Argentina 10,356    Columbia 9,029    Italy 6,509    Iran 32,511    Germany 2,097    Mexico 18,809    South Africa 12,418    Peru 2,099    The Netherlands 2,983    Iraq 9,394    Chile 1,171    Philippines 8,735    Malaysia 17,150    Pakistan 5,026    Portugal 2,590    Japan 10,063    Israel 3,464    Jordan 1,041    United Arab Emirates 1,519    Morocco 6,189    Tunisia 2,651    Lebanon 1,147    Saudi Arabia 1,084    Greece 2,752    Ecuador 1,699    Panama 1,195    Georgia 2,654    Cuba 9,747    Venezuela 1,040    Ireland 1,427    Libya 4,322    Kenya 1,259    South Korea 1,215    Algeria 2,724    Mongolia 1,063    Vietnam 7,447    Mozambique 2,078    Zimbabwe 1,370    Rwanda 3,141    Senegal 1,045    China 115    Singapore 121    New Zealand 4    Australia 257   

Bad news for camel owners: different variations of MERS virus found

Staff writer |
Five variants of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus have circulated between people and camels, a new study finds.

Article continues below






Meanwhile, a second study reported that an experimental vaccine for camels showed promise.

Several outbreaks of MERS have occurred in the Middle East and South Korea in recent years. About 35 percent of people who contracted the virus died, the researchers said.

Arabian camels are the most common host for the virus and one of the most likely sources of infection in people, the study authors said. The virus can mutate in camels and then be passed to humans, but little was known about how common the virus is in camels or how it's transmitted to people.

For the study, researchers collected samples from more than 1,300 camels in Saudi Arabia which has had the highest number of MERS cases. The investigators found that 12 percent of the animals were infected.

Genetic analysis of the samples revealed five variants of the virus, according to the team led by Jamal Sabir from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

All of the variants contained evidence of human and camel MERS, which makes it easier to pass the infection between the two species, the researchers explained.

The findings suggest that there will be more variations in the future, the study authors said. They also concluded that preventing animal-to-human transmission is the best way to reduce the threat from the virus.

In the second study, researchers found that within three weeks after receiving an experimental vaccine, camels developed detectable levels of antibodies against MERS.

When infected with the virus, the vaccinated camels developed only mild symptoms and had much lower levels of the virus than camels that did not receive the vaccine, the researchers said.


What to read next

South Korea: We're free from MERS. WHO: No, you're not
Health experts: Deadly MERS is in camels everywhere
HIV virus can continue to multiply even when antiretroviral therapy works