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What is MERS, and is it going to kill me? Hi everyone, Crystal here for D news.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, is a viral respiratory illness that is relatively new to humans.
It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is commonly localized to the Arabian Peninsula;
however, it has since spread to several other countries, including the United States, France, and most recently South Korea.
MERS, like SARS, is a coronavirus that typically presents as a cold and upper respiratory infection, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
MERS is dangerous because it's more severe than a common cold and can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms and kidney failure.
As with all infections, children, seniors, and people with compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions, are more likely to contract MERS.
Unfortunately, this list includes mostly the type of people found in hospitals,
making hospitalization in an area experiencing an outbreak of MERS a huge risk factor for infection.
Other risk factors include direct interaction with an infected person, travel to the Arabian Peninsula, or interaction with a camel. Yea, camel.
Based on information from the US Center for Disease Control,
the incubation period, or time between exposure to MERS and the appearance of symptoms, is usually about 5 to 6 days but can be anywhere from 2 to 14 days.
Patient zero in the recent South Korea outbreak was a man who traveled to countries in the Middle East
and did not exhibit any symptoms on his return flight to Korea. He became sick about a week later.
MERS is not thought to be easily transmitted between humans, and that's why the extent to the South Korean outbreak,
with three deaths and the number of people in quarantine at 1600 and climbing, is confusing to scientists.
Actually, scientists are confused by a lot more than that, because we don’t actually know how the disease spreads.
SARS, its sister disease, is communicated via virus laden droplets from coughs or sneezes,
but it is possible that MERS is airborne like measles, which can linger in rooms for hours.
To date, there have been only three reported cases of MERS in the US,
but worldwide MERS has a mortality rate of 30%, which is pretty scary!
But if you’re a healthy adult who washes your hands frequently, and actively avoids contact with sick people and camels,
and just be safe if you’re planning any trips to South Korea or the Arabian Peninsula in the near future.
What scary disease are you most concerned about? Let us know in the comments down below,
and check out this video by Anthony to find out more about the nature of viruses.
Life is made of one or more cells. It obtains and uses energy, and grows and develops. It reproduces.
It responds and adapts to its environment. And viruses is sort of straddled the line between living and non-living for awhile.
Thanks for watching and subscribing to D news for more science video everyday.
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Should You Be Worried About MERS?

4446 Folder Collection
SHEU published on June 7, 2015
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